Staff Writer: Jessica Ross
Categories and tags operate similar to each other, though they have very different functions. Categories are like file folders, while tags are what’s written on the specific files in each folder. These are used by search engine optimization firms to not only make your page more user friendly, but have easier access to keywords.
When making your categories keep in mind your audience, topics, and keywords. Your blog’s audience needs your categories to be user-friendly. You don’t want your readers to have to dig through old posts to find a specific topic or type of posts.
Categories help to alleviate that wasted time. Blogs can easily veer off-topic. Creating categories that go by industry, service, or product offerings helps keep you on track with your topics.
Search engines index your categories, because they are anchored text. So think about your keywords when creating them. You will want to keep your list of categories simple and short. The longer and more complicated the list, the hard it will be to keep it all straight.
With some Word Press themes you can use meta descriptions for your categories to help further keep them organized. Meta descriptions are bits of HTML code that are located in the <Head> </Head>. These descriptions can show up in Google search results under extended sitelinks.
Tags and categories are both anchored text hyperlinks. However, tags are usually hidden, unless you use a tag cloud in the side bar of your blog to allow readers to further narrow their search within the blog posts. Tags that are used to label a post do appear at the bottom of each individual one.
View tags as subcategories. While categories are more general, tags can be used in any category. When a reader clicks on a tag, this pulls up posts from all categories that are labeled with that specific tag. Using tags and categories properly and effectively can get them indexed in search engines and drive traffic to your blog.
When making up tags for your blog posts it’s very easy to do “tag spam.” This is when you add tags to your blog post that have nothing to do with the topic at hand or your blog in general. Some people will argue that it can create added traffic. While true, it is not “helpful” traffic that you are adding. These “bonus” clicks aren’t really going to become readers. Most likely, they will notice your content isn’t what they were searching for and leave.
This can boost your “high rankings,” but leaves your clients and products still lacking in sales. Your blog’s job is to gain them sales through conversions. Which is what SEO marketing is all about, not your ranking status, in the long run.
You should check your search engine optimization quote to see if your SEO consultant covers category and tag optimizing. It can be greatly beneficial and ways to maintain in the long run. Not to mention making your blog much more user-friendly and optimizes it further for search engines to find.