WordPress: Creating categories & tags

Creating categories & tagsCategories and tags provide a useful way of organizing large numbers of posts. They allow you to filter your articles for better user navigation.  There are many uses for both, but in general categories can be applied to menu systems and tags are useful for related articles. Categories are like a table of contents and tags are like an index.

Not only will categories and tags offer an improved experience for your visitors, they also provide an SEO opportunity.

Dispel the SEO myth about duplicate content

Some SEO writers have suggested that by using categories and tags, you are effectively creating duplicate content. Duplicate content is bad SEO and will result in a drop in rank. However, Google confirmed that such schemes will not be regarded as duelist. If anything, such practices should increase your website’s visibility.

Making your site easy to navigate will aid it’s popularity. Also, it will lower the visitor bounce rate; how long somebody stays on your page/site. This is because you are suggesting further reading through your carefully constructed categories and tags. Also, interlinking of this kind will pass link juice to the connected page.

Ensure that your blog is showing excerpts of each post on your category, search and archive pages. This will avoid any duplicate content penalties.

Just remember, whatever you do with your website, do it for your readers and not the search engines. Understanding good and bad SEO is very important, but shouldn’t be the driving force behind your creativity.

if you are using a plugin like Yoast SEO, then ensure that the title for your categories and tags include your website’s name. Otherwise you may find that people aren’t clicking on your link in Google listings, because it is out of context. Example: www.mywordpresstutorials.co.uk/categories/ might read as “Categories” in search engine listings. Provide more information to your potential reader – “Categories: My WordPress Tutorials”.

Category guidelines

I’d strongly suggest that you place each post into one category only. Some will suggest that this is advisable SEO, but I’d say that it’s good for visitors. Keep it simple!

Don’t have too many categories. Are you spreading your subject matter too thin? If so, consider developing a separate website. Your will more than likely encounter greater success with a niche subject. If possible, narrow it down to between five to ten categories. If you can’t narrow it down, please consider build a tree structure for your categories. This would involve constructing parent categories to host child categories. This could look like the following:

  • Houseware
    • DIY
      • Domestic
      • Trade
    • Furniture
    • Soft furnishing
  • Gardenware
    • Tools
    • Plants
      • Perennials
      • Annuals
      • Bulbs
      • Seeds
    • Gift ideas

When coming up with a title for your category, think short and descriptive. Try and include the words that your audience would use via the search engines. Your title is yet another SEO opportunity.

Tag guidelines

You can include any number of tags per post, but try and keep it as tidy as possible. Ensure that any tags that you include are totally relevant to your subject matter. Also, if you are struggling to come up with a tag for your post, then don’t add one. It is not compulsory.

Again, as with categories, think about your targeted keywords when applying tags. Is it good for your visitors and for SEO?

Creating categories

There are two ways to start creating categories:

  1. Click on the Posts->Categories  (Left menu).
  2. Choose Categories.
  3. Provide a title and slug (SEO friendly title for folder name).
  4. You also have the option to select a parent category. This is useful for hierarchical menu structures.

You also have the option to edit and delete existing tags from the All Posts->Categories page.

You can also create your category whilst writing a post. Click on the + Add New Category option at the bottom of the Categories palette.

Once you have established your categories, you will need to append them onto your posts via the Category palette. You can also achieve this with Quick Edit on the All Posts page.

Creating tags

Creating a tag is done in much the same way as with categories. Click on the Posts->Tags to bring up the tag manager. You also have the option to edit and delete existing tags from the All Posts->Tags page. You can also establish your tag name whilst writing your article via the Tags palette.

Further reading

Creating a new post in WordPress: Best practises

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