Find It Friday – What are Tags and Categories?

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It is Find it Friday time again and this week’s question comes from FutureSME – ‘What are tags and categories all about and what is the difference between them?’

What are Categories?

Categories can be created in the sidebar as one of the wordpress plug – ins. You can create as many categories as you like (and it may be a good idea to think about the terms / keywords people are searching for) and each blog post topic may fit into two or three or four of your categories.

Blogging Tips - Using Categories Some people suggest that you limit the number of categories for maximum SEO effect but as long as you don’t overdo it and ensure that the topic is relevant within that category, it should work well for your SEO.  It is recommended that 5-10 categories and/or tags are sufficient for each blog post’s optimisation so 5 categories would be more than sufficient. For example, this blog post will fit into our ‘blogs’, ‘Find It Friday’, ‘How to Blog’, ‘For Beginners’, and ‘Tips’ categories and I will tick each of the boxes as seen in the image above.

Apart from the SEO benefits, if your categories are visible in your sidebar, it makes it easier for new readers to read all the relevant posts under a category they are most interested in. They really improve the navigation of your blog.

What are Tags?

Tags are words that people might search for when looking for a post on your topic. Although the tag words may not be used within the body of the blog post, they work most effectively in terms of SEO when the tags are also keywords that are used in the body of the blog post. Tags tend to change more often than categories and as they are words summarising the content of your blog post, most of them will change with each blog post.  You might only have ten categories but you might have used thousands of different tags over numerous blog posts.

It is best to use the google keyword research tool to decide on which tags to use for your blog post. As I mentioned above, if the tags/keywords are also used within the body of the post, they will work more effectively in terms of optimisation.

The tags for this post will be wordpress tags, tags versus categories, blog categories, search engine optimisation tips, SEO tips, tags, categories, how to blog.

WordPress has a global tag system which will collate all the tags used and people can source blogs based on searching for a particular tag or category.

You can have a ‘tag cloud’ in the sidebar of your blog and the size of each word signifies how often that tag is used, the larger signifying the most used tags – this gives readers an indication of the content of your blog at a quick glance.

What is the difference between tags and categories?

Well, if you think of categories as being like chapters or themes and tags are like the index at the back, it is a little like that.

To give you another example, if I were to write a blog post giving a recipe for  Brown Bread, the categories might be just Recipes or it may be Recipes, Breads, Baking, whereas the tags would be recipe for brown bread, Irish brown bread, making bread, baking,  breads, recipes.

Do like our facebook page for lots of tips and links on all matters blog related.

Posts coming up next week will include – How to write a good title, how to use the All in One SEO plug in, how to write successful and different calls to action and more.

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Posted in Blogs, Find It Friday, For Beginners, How to Blog, Tips
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