How-to: Categories vs Tags

Remember back in the day when a fun outing consisted of going CD shopping?? No? Yeah, me neither...
Remember back in the day when a fun outing consisted of going CD shopping?? No? Yeah, me neither… (We must be getting old.)
 

Last time, you learned how to create and update your own blog posts and pages and upload images to them. Perfect. Now, you’ll learn how to make use of categories and tags, which are relevant for SEO (search engine optimization) and generally to keep your content organized and easily searchable for your readers.

 

It’s like having a sleek shoe rack rather than a pile of dirty sneakers and boots that you keep tripping over every other day (I’m not judging, I still trip sometimes). You can set up tags and categories for your blog posts, although not for your pages. …I don’t have a simile for this right now, but imagine something with avocado on toast (I must be hungry).

 

Categories vs tags

 

Categories can be thought of as topics and tags as subtopics. It’s just a neat and simple way to keep your content categorized and divided up into topics that make sense.

 

All right, let’s get this nerdy party started!

 

Categories

By default, blog posts are sorted by date and category. In order for your posts to be searchable by topic, you’ll want to set up some nifty categories.

 

Here’s how to do it. When you’re editing a post, the tag and category options appear on the right sidebar:

 

tags and categories

 

To create a new category, click on “+Add New Category” under the list of categories, in the Categories box. Type one in and click on “Add New Category.” It will be added to the list. To choose one (or several) for your blog post, just click the one(s) you want to use. Pretty awesome.

 

Example of how to use categories: If you have a healthy food blog, you can create “Categories” such as recipes, raw, vegan, and superfoods. Then, when you write a new post, you can select the category (or categories) that you want the post to fall into (incorrect grammar, I know. Here, let me make it up to you with a song that is great to put on when you’re organizing stuff. According to a friend of mine. I don’t know from where he got that <— hey, correct grammar!)

 

 

Tags

Then come the “Tags” underneath. These function as subtopics and hence get even more specific. Let’s say you write a post on “superfoods.” If you choose that category, you can get more descriptive with your tags: for example, your tags could be goji berries and snacks.

 

To add a tag, type one in and click on “Add” inside the Tags box (see image above). To choose from the tags you’ve already created, click right below that input field on “Choose from the most used tags.” Click on the one(s) you want to use.

 

When a visitor clicks on the Category superfoods anywhere on your blog, s/he’ll be taken to all of the blog posts for which you have selected superfoods as the category. It works the same way with Tags: When a visitor clicks on the Tag goji berries anywhere on your blog, she’ll be taken to all of the blog posts for which you have selected goji berries as the Tag. This lets your visitors easily find content based on a topic, whether it be a Category or a Tag.
 
Another way someone can find your tags and categories is by entering a term in your website’s Search box (but you and I know people are, um, energetically challenged? — ahem, lazy — so the easier you make it for them, the better!).

 
Once you’ve made some Categories, feel free to delete the “uncategorized” category, which is vague and you may therefore never use. (You’ll notice in the image that I didn’t delete mine. I never said I didn’t fall into the “lazy” category <– see what I did there? Yeah, it’s not that clever.)
 
The more specific you are with your writing, Categories, and Tags, the easier visitors will find what they’re looking for on your blog –> You: 1, Lousy Scenario: 0.
 

One last thing

Pssst… Remember to save your drafts! Publish your post or page when you’re ready. You can always go back to update, modify, or delete it by returning to your Dashboard > Pages or Posts > All pages or All posts. You can then click on your chosen page or post and be taken right back to the content box!
 
All right, brilliant: you now know how to organize your blog posts in a useful way to make your entire site more user-friendly so people will like you better (and by extension your business etc.!).
 

What can you do right now to improve things using these tips?

 

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3 Responses to How-to: Categories vs Tags

  1. Thanks for this! Do you know, I’ve been using tags and categories, without really knowing what good it’s doing! It was so helpful to learnt about how it relates to SEO – thank you!

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