WordPress Tags and Categories Explained

Blog writing might seem to be interesting and somewhat easy to just sit down with your laptop somewhere in the park sipping a cold drink, while writing and then just click ‘Publish’. But in reality, there is a lot more to take in consideration than just a text and pictures.

What I mean by ‘a lot more’ there are tools and structures to take in consideration, for example, very crucial details are tags and categories.

In this blog post, we will explore the basics of tags and categories and how to use them and how to set those up. But first things first..

What is a category? What is a tag?

Categories are like chapters of the book, but tags are like index number which tell you where to find a specific page in the book. 

Tags and categories are known as taxonomies that provide your blog posts with order and classification. They help you to organize your content and to create a better UX for your readers. This means that when readers visit your site, they can quickly and easily maneuver through your content topic by topic instead of searching for a needle in the haystack, which would be browsing chronologically, as blogs were originally set up.

Categories are like chapters of the book, but tags are like index number which tell you where to find a specific page in the book. Click To Tweet

These little tools help your readers to orient and find what they seek much quicker and more productively. Bear in mind that these two soldiers are only valid for blog posts, they won’t be available to use when you would like to create a new page in WordPress.

WordPress treats categories a lot more serious than tags, because categories group your content, but tags describe details of your post. 

Categories

For example, in your  WordPress blog you might have topics like:

  • WordPress Plugins 2018
  • WordPress Themes 2018
  • WordPress and GDPR
  • WordPress Page Builder Plugins

Essentially, your categories should adjust with the fundamental topics covered in rest of the site. Before pushing the ‘Publish’ button always remember to assign a category to your blog post. In a situation where you haven’t taken the time and energy to create categories and assign them to your posts, your content automatically will be ‘Uncategorized’ and that’s not great as your posts most likely won’t be noticed.

Some advice on what to take in consideration when creating a category:

  • Use Title Case when naming your categories for consistency, because that’s what readers love.
  • Avoid using vague words like ‘other ‘ or ‘some’ instead use clear and detailed words.
  • Assign one category for each of your blog posts.
  • Create 5-10 categories which nicely match your content.

Tags

For example, let’s have a look at this blog post 10 SEO tips and tricks or how to make your website visible‘. The tags for this particular post are:

  • Conversion
  • Performance
  • SEO
  • Tips
  • Web Design

As you noticed if you read this blog post, that there are 5 tags, which means there’s no need to create a bunch of tags. A few strong ones that really mirror your blog post and resonate with your potential reader should be enough for SEO to pick up on your topics.

Some advice on what to take in consideration when creating a tag:

  • Use lower case when naming your categories for consistency, because that’s what readers love.
  • Create and assign between 3-5 tags per post, anything more than 5, will be way too generic.
  • Avoid using category name as a tag.
  • Use clear and detailed labels.
WordPress treats categories a lot more serious than tags, because categories group your content, but tags describe details of your post. Click To Tweet

How to create a category and a tag in your WordPress admin panel?

To create a new category:

  1. In your WordPress admin dashboard navigate to post/categories
  2. Select ‘Add New Category’  and specify category title and description

To create a new tag:

  1. In your WordPress admin dashboard navigate to post/tags
  2. Select ‘Add New Tag’ and specify tag title and description

How to add categories and tags to your post in WordPress admin panel?

To add category and tags to your post:

  1. In your WordPress admin dashboard navigate to posts
  2. Choose your post by pressing on it
  3. Navigate to the left side of the screen and select category and tags

4. Press publish and you will see that post is now categorized and tagged

Voilà! Congratulations on creating your first categorized and tagged post!

Now you have all the basic information and knowledge on why you need categories and tags and how to create those.

As now you have a better understanding of how to create and add categories and tags, let’s get into the ‘why’ we need these and how do they work with SEO.

Why it’s necessary to understand Categories and Tags?

Categories and tags not only play a crucial role to organize your posts, but they also help you with Google ranking and boost your page views.

Today 95% of consumers and businesses search online before purchasing a product or a service. They enter desired keywords in the search engine and look what’s available. Research shows that if your business is not on the first 3-5 pages most likely you won’t gain clients online as much as you would like to.

In order for you to be included in those high ranked pages, you must have the components that search engines are looking for. This is how SEO can help your site to be visible. SEO is looking for text, content, page titles, links, and other useful information.

And to sum up, this post – key things to keep in mind when handling categories and tags:

  • Don’t ignore categories and tags, use them wisely and appropriately
  • Don’t use too many tags for one blog post
  • Choose one not more than two categories for one post
  • Use clear and descriptive titles for your categories
  • Avoid using categories and tags with the same name

Do you use any additional categorizing tools, for example, custom fields?

If not then I highly advise you on reading this blog post on custom fields

And now question to you all – what’s your experience in using categories and tags? Are you applying these to your posts? How helpful it has been in boosting your views?

Let us know your thoughts and experience on this topic! Cheerio, my friends!