WordPress SEO Tips: Should I Use Categories Or Tags?
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – Adding quality content to your blog is one of the best ways to reach the first page of Google. Our CEO Ali Husayni explains why.
“Let’s start with the basics of why search engines were built: because text existed on the Internet in an unorganized fashion,” Husayni says. “Search engine spiders indexed, organized and provided the text in an easy-to-use format for their users.”
Our Web SEO company uses WordPress for many of our clients because it has built in features made for search engine optimization. Today I want to discuss the difference between two common WordPress features – categories and tags – and how you use them effectively.
When you create a post in WordPress, you should see several boxes to the right of the text box where you enter the text and media of your new post. The boxes on the right are titled “Publish,” “Tags” and “Categories.”
Categories and tags both help search engines and users sort the content on your site, but categories apply to broader themes and tags describe more detailed keywords relating to specific posts.
Bloggers can use a hierarchy of categories and nest children categories beneath the parent categories. For instance, if your blog is about dentistry and orthodontics, you may want the category of your new post to be “dentistry.” But there are several types of dentistry, including cosmetic dentistry, preventive dentistry, neuromuscular dentistry and restorative dentistry. These could be nested under the “dentistry” category to further define a post.
You can even go to the category widget and describe what each category is about. You can find this from your dashboard. On the left side of your dashboard you should see headings like “Dashboard,” “Store,” “Posts” and “Media.” Click “Post,” and you should see “Categories” beneath that tab. This lets you manage your categories, add new or delete existing categories, change the hierarchy and add category descriptions. Any time you have a chance to define or describe your pages you should do it. These descriptions should be relevant, clear, concise and rich with your highest desired keywords.
Many people ask how many categories a good site needs, and the answer isn’t cut and dry. As you add more content to your site, the diversity of your content will likely grow. Add and manage your categories as needed. At first you may only need “dentistry,” but in a few weeks you may need to add nested categories beneath it to differentiate the posts. You don’t need 30 categories if you only have three posts live on your site. Make your site structure clear and simple.
Finally, categories are mandatory, and tags are optional.
The theme you’ve chosen for your blog likely decides where your tags are listed for each post. Some blogs contain tag clouds on the sidebar that show users an array of tags used for your blog. The visitor can click on any tag in the tag cloud to see posts tagged with that keyword.
Adding tags to your new post is simple. Just type keywords into the tag bar and separate them with commas. Tags can be any length and any keyword you choose, but to work best they should be descriptive and relevant. For instance, if Dr. Frank P. Dentist adds a new post to his site about tooth whitening, he should choose the parent category “dentistry” and the nested category “cosmetic dentistry.” The tags might be: tooth whitening, professional whitening, Zoom! whitening, in-office whitening and whiter smile. You can use as few or as many keywords as you like.
You can also add descriptions to your tags. Look beneath the “Posts” tab on the left side of your dashboard. For the tag “Zoom! whitening,” our dentist may add a short description of that procedure.
Categories and Tags
When used correctly, categories and tags work together to give search engines and users detailed information about your blog and individual posts. It’s also important to note the categories and tags don’t replace metadata within your post.
Our SEO services in the USA include content creation and WordPress content distribution. We understand how to best use the category and tag fields to optimize your blog.
At Sinai Marketing we’ve helped a variety of companies succeed in improving their Google rankings. We’ve excelled in dental and orthodontic marketing, plastic surgery marketing and ecommerce marketing for various clients, and we are confident we can bring any business to the top of Google.
How do you use categories and tags on your WordPress blog? What other WordPress tips would you like to learn?