When it comes to web content, there’s more than just the quality of the text to be concerned with. Having tags and categories often comes into play, too. If you’re not sure what those are or how best to use them, you’ve come to the right place. Here are the basics on categories and tags for blog content you should know.
The Major Differences
To start, a category applies to sections and subsections of the content you’re publishing on your website. Though the main product, products, or services can apply to giant, general concepts – for example, you’re a gardening store – there are tons of categories and even sub-categories you can draw from and apply to your website, such as: gardening tools, landscaping, plants, trees, and flowers, to name a few. An example of a sub-category that would benefit your reader could be applied to flowers, such as rose care, indoor flower care, and so on.
These are also great examples to use as tags. Tags really only apply if you genuinely do host a blog on your website. They help the reader if they want to find specific topics you cover on your blog, without having to navigate through a sea of content.
The biggest difference between these two features is that categories MUST be applied to your blog posts, especially for organization’s sake, otherwise everything (at least in WordPress) will be set as “Uncategorized”. In contrast, tags are helpful but purely optional depending on the content published. In the case of ecommerce or online store websites, categories are not only important, but also they are an absolute necessity. Think of them, in this case, like a grocery flyer – you wouldn’t want to stick deli meat specials on the same page as the baby wipes, would you?
How Not to Use Them
The worst thing you can do when handling categories and tags is, for starters, to insert random tags willy-nilly that have nothing to do with the content you’re publishing, or to insert the exact same tags you’ve got on every single post you’ve published. You want your readers to find exactly what they’re looking for, after all, not burden them with too much stuff to sift through.
A common misconception, at least when it comes to tags, is to consider them exactly the same as meta keywords you want to target for your blog. For the record, they are not the same thing. While plugins for WordPress such as Yoast can allow you to add value to your tags, if you don’t have this feature on your website, then they do not work as such.
How and Where to Use Them Properly
Using categories and tags is easily done in WordPress. It gives you an entire section to work with, edit, and either add or delete new ones of either. It also allows you to enable noindex and nofollow for categories and tags you do not want search engines to index for the sake of minimizing or removing duplicate content issues from your website. When you’re editing a blog post, the categories and tags will appear in the sidebar, and you can select the ones you want – just be particular about which ones you want to use (for your sake and the user’s).
The absolute best way to approach tags and categories is to consider them like the index in a book. There will be specific words, and sub-categories associated with these words, that a reader will investigate if they need something specific. If you apply this idea to your website’s categories and tags, you’re good to go. Just don’t overdo it.
Do you need help with your website’s blog? Perhaps we can help. At V3 Media, blog-related details such as categories and tags are the finer details we pay attention to, since having too many or too few can add to the site’s overall design. For all your blogging needs, contact our professionals. We get the job done, and done right.