WordPress: Categories vs. tags, best practices and optimization for SEO
One of the most discussed topics at conferences and communities of WordPress is the use of categories and tags (the latter better known as tags ). Many WordPress users are often confused and generated controversy about what is the right thing to make use of these features.
There has always been a discussion about, how to use them, which attracts more traffic and works better for SEO, what is the difference, etc.
If you have those questions and are interested in improving the user experience and the traffic of your website with the correct use of these features of WordPress, this is the perfect place.
Differences between categories and tags
Categories: are basically the table of contents for your website. The categories are used to group your content and maintain a sort order. In other words, categories help users of your site to identify what they are looking for.
Tags :Â used asÂ micro dataÂ describing specifics of the content. Meta keywords for SEO is a good practice. Here’s how it works If,Â for example, the category of your content is shoes, you should use tags like weddings, elegant suit.
- The categories should be the basis of the organization as the basis retain a hierarchy, unlike tags can have sub-categories.
- The tags are optional, you should always categorize your content or keep themÂ “Uncategorized”.
Using categories and tags
The categories are the initial basis of content you will offer in your website.
You must classify the content of your site so that anyone who comes to your siteÂ easily understand how and where to find everything.
Categories can grow as you to tackle more topics, but usually do not grow at the same level of tags.
How many categories and tags to use? :Â A post should not have more than two categories. The tags must be limited to the number of topics that are covered in each content.
Remember that every piece of your site should have a purpose and that is one of the best aids to categorize your content. This is where you should keep in mind that the tags are not a lot of words to just “put out there”, but that their objective is to describe in detail that what you’re talking about.
When and how to use sub-categories
The sub-categories come into play when you have a content of less than one category hierarchy, but it is definitely not a simple tag.
Here is anÂ example:
If you have a news website in your categories you should find something like:
- etc …
The sub-categories of “Sports” should be something like:
Speaking of how to use, let’s see what tags might have a football article category:
yellow cards, Falcao, friendly, picks, Cristiano Ronaldo, …
Optimize categories and tags for SEO
The main purpose of using categories and tags is to guide users with a good navigation for your website.
And as I mentioned before one of the keyÂ factors of SEOÂ today is to have a good user experience to avoid pogosticking.
The correct use of categories, subcategories and tags, as well as providing user experience humans, also helps GoogleÂ Search engine robots. Having these internal links to our site helps crawlers to discover each content and also to determine the authority of each of these.
To give an extra push, you can use the plugin for SEO Yoast that allows you to add meta titlesÂ and meta descriptions for each category or tag.
Categories or tags for SEO?
This is one of the most controversial parts of discussions. Is there any difference or advantage to using one or the other? The answer is quite simple: no.
This case should not be viewed from the perspective vs taxonomies categories.
Categories and tags are designed to work together. The purpose of each is contributing directly to the usability of your website so. Therefore, use both appropriately, will be giving added value to factors of SEO.
And duplicate content penalties
Duplicate content has always been for robots (and me) one of the most important issues of SEO.
Both external and internal duplicate content. However, neither Google or any other search engine penalize your site by having categories or tags with a partially similar content, we confirmed this in 2008 with an article that eliminated the myth of this penalty.
If you take the time to make proper use and optimize the categories and tags of your website, you will get good results with your users, and therefore with the search engines.
Use the categories as your table of contents and tags as sorting detail.
Since the beginning of any project is very important to make a good planning for using categories and tags. If you are working with a team, you better do a guidance document for use. This prevents your computer fromÂ confusing and organizational problems incurred with the content.