Best Practices of Using WordPress Tags and Categories for SEO

WordPress categories and tags play a crucial role in organizing your website’s posts properly. These two things can help you rank better in search engines, boost page views and offer a great experience to all of your website visitors. With the proper use of tags and categories, you’ll be helping both search engine crawlers and your readers to navigate different pages of your website quickly and easily. These two features don’t just manage the entire structure of the site, but also enhance the usability and accessibility which are key aspects of a successful web business.

That means you can’t really afford to make silly mistakes while creating and using them on your WordPress site. It will drastically affect the user experience and SEO rankings of your website if done improperly. Since tags and categories have become such an integral part of your website, make sure you create them in the initial steps otherwise you could be losing potential rankings and traffic. This article was created to help get the most out of tags and categories by offering some of the best practices you can implement to continue growing your online business.

The Difference Between Categories & Tags

1. Categories are hierarchical, allowing you to also use sub-categories if needed. On the other hand, tags are optional and are not hierarchical.
2. There is a numeric restriction when it comes to using multiple categories. But, you can use numerous tags on your WordPress site.
3. WordPress Categories must be kept in the main menu or sidebars. However, tags are always placed in sidebars.

Best Tag & Category Practices

Do extensive keyword research – If you are trying to improve the ranking of your website to drive better quality traffic, you need to be certain you’re using keyword-rich categories and tags. Doing some in-depth keyword research and competition analysis can help you select a set of the most relevant phrases to implement. But, always make sure that both your tags and categories are relevant to your blog posts – this can increase the accessibility and readability of your blog post as well.

Avoid singular vs plural dilemma – When publishing your content, don’t get confused about whether or not you should be using the singular or plural version of keywords. The fact is, either version will do and you should be using whichever one applies to the blog post that’s been written. If the plural version fits, then use it! There is no specific version you should be using and instead, it should be the first one that comes to mind without hesitation.

Don’t use too many Tags – Using too many tags in one post can affect the usability and accessibility of your website. It’s not exactly clear how many tags are too much in a particular blog post, but you should be aware of the fact that each tag you create will generate a separate archive page for your site. Therefor, if you have an extremely large number of blog posts, it’s usually better to compress the tags so they can be linked to at least two or three different posts. Be consistent while using tags in each post you write.

Structure your categories properly – Don’t forget to structure your categories if you want all of your related posts to be listed under one specific category. Since the WordPress script wants each post belonging to at least one category, make sure you create them before publishing your content. This will help both search engines and incoming visitors find the blog posts they want inside one specific category.