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Make Your WordPress Website Better With Categories & Tags

writing and planning content for a website

You’ve researched your keywords and written quality content, but without the right taxonomies, you are missing an important step that could make a big difference in your ability to reach your audience. For WordPress, these default taxonomies are called “categories” and “tags”, and they are vital keys to getting the best results from your work.

Categories and tags are used to group similar posts together, helping to direct your audience to the content they are looking for, therefore increasing engagement and leading to improved search rankings. A well organized collection of categories and tags can improve your ability to deliver recommended content and create an overall more positive experience for your readers.

Categories vs Tags

Categories are designed for broad groupings of your posts, such as general topics or a table of contents. Categories should represent what your blog is all about and help guide readers to the information they’re looking for. They are hierarchical, so you can use sub-categories as well.

Tags are for meant for describing the specific details of your post. They can be used to help direct readers to groups of similar content and are not hierarchical. Read more about the differences between categories and tags here.

(Special Note: we recently talked about the fact that WordPress “tags” are not the same as Instagram “hashtags.“)

Writing content for a website
With proper planning and research, your categories and tags will become powerful tools for your blog.

Research Keywords and Choose Your Main Set

Keywords will be the driving force behind your category and tag choices, with in-depth keyword research and competitive analysis an important first step. These will establish and solidify your direction, and help you find the most effective ways to guide readers to your content.

After choosing your keywords, establish the main categories and tags that will align with your goals. Instead of creating them on the fly, pre-planning your most valuable sections will make it easier to properly present them and plan for the future.

Organize & Structure Thoughtfully

WordPress creates an “archive” page for each category and tag. You can use this to your advantage to display content in creative and effective ways. Consider that search engines want to quickly understand what your site is about, so your topics should be relevant and easy to discover.

A few things to watch out for:

  • Duplicates – Decide whether a subject should have a wider reach as a category or be more specific as a tag, instead of using one keyword in both areas.
  • Too many categories or tags – Quality is better than quantity, and less is more.
  • Plural vs singular (“dogs” vs “dog”) – Choose one or the other to keep it simple and straightforward.

Create Relevant Content

Once you have established your keywords and structure, create quality, relevant content that aligns with your taxonomies. Be specific about your goals and know what you are offering to visitors, focusing on the topics which best represent your blog. If your topic doesn’t easily fit into the structure you have established, consider whether it is really necessary to include.

With well organized content and an established taxonomy strategy, you set yourself up to unlock the full potential of your website.

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