Every small business owner knows the importance of a good website, and a proper SEO strategy, and with that it is integral to understand the difference between WordPress tags and categories and how they can work for your business when organizing your content or blog.
WordPress tags & categories are not only great for keeping your content organized while improving navigation, they can also improve your SEO rankings when used correctly.
How do Tags and Categories work in WordPress?
Although tags and categories serve a different purpose, having both a category and a tag is better for your SEO performance, which is why we recommend using both.
You can think of categories as the table of contents, where tags are in the index that is often found at the back of a book when searching for a specific word or topic. By utilizing tags and categories properly, you are giving your users a better opportunity to find the content they are looking for to potentially help them solve a problem, and that is where you can see the return.
What is the Difference Between Tags & Categories?
Let’s explore the differences between the two, to ensure you are using them properly.
Categories: Categories are meant to group your posts in a broader sense. These are often very general topics like Marketing, Marketing Tactics for your WordPress Site. You can also create subcategories which allows you to categorize your content even further.
Tags: As categories are used in a broader sense, tags are meant to describe specific details of your posts. Tags are not hierarchical like categories, but used more to describe the content. For example- you could have a category Marketing Strategy, where the tags are SEO, Blog Writing etc.
Similar to tags, you want to be strategic, but you don’t want to overload your site with categories. It is best to stick to 5 to 10 categories in order to properly manage your site. When it comes to choosing a category name, you want to be clear, as you want your customers to be able to understand what each category is. Try to avoid using “uncategorized” as a category, which is a default that WordPress uses if a category is not assigned. We recommend that you only use one category per post, this keeps things consistent and organized. You can also use subcategories to further organize your posts into smaller groups.
Tags: Best Practices
Tags are optional when creating your post, so if you do not create one, a default tag will not be assigned. It is important to do some research when creating your tags. Using a tool like MOZ can help you choose your tags in a more strategic way. Pulling keywords from your post and then dropping them into a keyword search tool will help you gain a better understanding of what keywords will help drive traffic to your site when using them as a tag. Always choose keywords or phrases that best describe your content, and get as specific as possible
Finally, you can add as many tags as you want to a specific post, but remember that a tag acts as an index, so you want to keep it specific. We recommend keeping your tags to ten or less per post.
Which is Better for SEO?
As we’ve covered, WordPress tags and categories serve their purpose when it comes to organizing your posts, and the same can be said for SEO. We now know that you have to use categories, but using tags is a choice, however we recommend using both. Using categories and tags help to not only improve your websites navigation, but it will also help improve your SEO to help your visitors find the content that they are looking for. We understand that categories and tags may seem complicated, but if you continue to view them as a book categories = table of contents, tags = index, you will be able to use them in a way that not only brings organization to your site, but also improves your sites navigation from a customer perspective, while also boosting your SEO.
If you are looking for more ways to improve your website, or your content, connect with us.