Are you a Time Poor Blogger looking for a fast way to improve your SEO Ranking? Learn how to setup Categories and Tags on your blog and get visitors to spend more time on your blog (Google Love this) and make it easier for search engines to crawl your site (Google Also Love this!).
Categories and Tags are both search engine and people friendly. A better experience for both parties is relatively easy to achieve and strengthens your blog.
Bloggers often overlook Categories and Tags despite the fact they improve a blog’s SEO. They make it easier for search engines to crawl and rank your site and they make it easier for blog readers to find related content on your blog.
KeriLynn Engel, Copywriter and Content Marketing Specialist
What are Blog Categories?
Categories group your blog posts by topics. They give visitors a better understanding of what to expect from your blog. If you have a fitness blog, you could have categories such as nutrition, cardio exercise, weight training and motivation.
Tags describe certain parts of your blog post that might appear within other blog posts. Using the aforementioned fitness blog example, you might have an article on the Weights Routine of Matthew McConaughy.
What are Blog Tags?
The same blog may also have an article on the meal plan that McConaughy used to get into shape for Magic Mike. Using the tag Matthew McConaughy, the reader can see all articles written with this tag. Without a tag, the reader would have no way to find other content on him.
Tags are a great way to serve your audience more of the content they want.
Bloggers setup Categories and Tags on a blog to increase the amount of time spent on the website by providing the reader with additional related content.
As KeriLynn Engel says on ElegantThemes.com, “The categories and tags, you create become the skeleton of your website, clueing in both readers and search engines to its structure and content.”
How Many Categories and Tags Should I use?
There is no strict rule from Google on this; we recommend using between 3-5 categories with 5-10 tags per post. It is important to use Tags that can be used again on other blogs.
Tags should never be the same as your Categories. The bots that crawl your site and rank it within the search engines will punish your blog for this. It is also a little confusing for readers.
They could click a tag instead of a category and miss out on content. Why? Because every blog post will be categorised, and blog posts only get tagged if the author adds them.
If you don’t categorise your blog posts, they then get added to the Uncategorised category.
Categories: DOs and DON’Ts
- Brainstorm 3-5 Categories for your Blog and Stick to them
- Don’t Create a category that you won’t use
- Use Clear Names; don’t try to be clever with them as it will confuse visitors to your blog
- Use Capitals for Categories as it makes it easier for visitors to decipher categories from content
- Publish Blog Posts that belong within at least one of your categories.
- Carefully consider if you require sub-categories.
- Only add blog posts to one category
- Don’t have an author category: WordPress has an author category by default
TAGS: DOs and DON’Ts
- Use 5-10 Tags Per Blog Post
- Use Tags that you can use for other posts
- Make your Tags descriptive
- Keep Tags Lowercase (or stay consistent with capitalisation)
- Keep Tags Short: 3 Words Maximum
- Don’t use a tag that only applies to a single post
- Don’t use Tags that duplicate your categories
- Use a Singular of Plural Tag – not both because according to SEO Experts Yoast, Google will punish you!
Create Categories and Tags in Advance
If you are a strategic blogger, then you can setup Categories and Tags in advance. To achieve this simply list 3-5 Categories and brainstorm 10-20 Tags per category. Having a pool of Tags to choose from will save you time blogging.
Lets use our fitness blogger example.
Paul’s Fitness Blog
Category 1: Nutrition
Category 2: Cardio
Category 3: Weight Training
Category 4: Motivation
Always think could this Tag be used on a different post in a different category or on a future blog post within this category. Ideally we want to use Tags that can be used multiple times across the blog.
Categories and Tags are easy to add to your blog and they improve your SEO search page ranking. They make it easy for visitors to find more related content so they spend more time on your blog. They also make it easier for search engines to crawl and rank your blog.