One of the most underestimated topics in both the design and usability for the user, as well as for SEO, is the correct and most functional way to use two fundamental tools: categories and tags.
What is the difference between categories and tags?
- Difference between categories and tags?
- Right number of categories to set?
- Is it correct to assign a post to multiple categories?
- Is there a limit tag that we can assign to each post?
- Does tags work as keywords?
- What advantages do we have in terms of SEO to use categories instead of tags and vice versa?With this article we clarify all these points.
What are tags and categories?
- In the nomenclature of WordPress both categories and tags are known as taxonomies.
- Their purpose is to order the content thus giving it an architecture, improve the usability of the site and facilitate the user experience.
- In Layman’s terms, they allow you to navigate across certain topics, leaving out the canonical chronological order of the articles and allow you to work on a database organized on a well-defined structure.
- If you visit a blog with hundreds of articles, being able to find the topic you are looking for can become quite complex.
- The correct use of these simple but fundamental tools, will make your site more useful to those who are visiting, because they can quickly inform you about a whole topic.
Where you can use categories and tags
Difference between categories and tags
What is the optimal number of categories to set for a site?
Until version 2.5, WordPress didn’t support tags.
This created sites with a very long list of categories because, who had many topics to organize. They needed to use them indiscriminately for both macro-arguments and for the smallest details.
All this to say that, functionally, there is no optimal number of usable categories.
The number must be determined by the complexity of the site on which you are working.
WordPress is a very flexible tool that, if aided by the common sense of those who exploit it, can really make a difference.
When you’re about to set up the first categories, try to be as generic as possible, just enter the big themes of your site.
In the future, you can, if you need it, add new ones or, if a particular branch of your industry becomes too large, decide to break down some into sub-category.
Blogs and sites evolve and it is impossible to hope for the “good first” leaving the project to its own destiny.
One of the most important moments in developing a website is design, as we explain in the article How to Create a Blog.
Armed with a pen and paper, you need to do the first planning of the content structure, which is to decide the categories.
Remember that you can rely on tags to refine your search.
TIP: If you then see that, going forward with the work there will be recurring tags, which collect a lot of acclaim, you may also think about turning them into a sub-categories of the topic in which they are inserted, thus intervening on the structure of your Blogs.
Is it correct to assign a post to multiple categories?
It’s not ideal, but it’s possible.
The URL of the article includes only one category.
If you assign multiple categories to a post, which one is chosen to be inserted into the URL? So it means that the article belongs more to one than the other…
In the latest versions of WordPress, however, this option is still given, allowing you to select which primary category appears in the URL.
My advice, however, is to limit yourself to selecting only one, remembering that you always have both subcategories and tags available.
Sure, sometimes you may find yourself in “ambiguous” situations. But if you’ve stretched out the structure well this shouldn’t be a recurring problem.
In addition, being able to write SEO friendly articles, therefore as relevant as possible to a given topic, will make a difference in terms of content quality.
So don’t be afraid to rethink and restructure the hierarchy of your arguments; If you think it can improve the user experience, feel free to make any necessary changes.
The only thing you’ll have to pay attention to is that if the structure changes, so do the URLs, which are the links that lead to your articles.
You will then need to use a plugin such as Simple 301 Redirect to inform search engines and redirect the user if it requires the old URL structure.
Is there a tag limit that we can assign to each post?
No, there are no limits to insertable tags, but remember that the purpose of a tag is to relate multiple posts.
Tags are the common thread of your topics. Through which, those who browse your site, can switch from one to the other keeping the brain “tuned” on a single theme.
That is why too many, unless immense articles dealing with multiple topics, is usually unjustifiable.
Categories and Tags: What’s best for SEO?
One of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to placement is precisely the most correct way to use these two parameters.
There is no “better” way: categories and tags have been developed to work in symbiosis. And we hope that reading this article has helped you understand the differences.
Both can, if possible and makes sense, name the keywords of your vertical, your niche. Reminding you that you have to write, both for categories and tags, also meta title and meta description.
These will be recorded in meta data on archive pages that. If well done, can help search engines better understand the structure and content of your site.
Also, if you make decisions to improve the user experience, search engines will notice and, in the long run, reward your work.
We conclude by saying that a seemingly superficial topic such as categories and tags. If well known, can actually become a weapon to have a better site in all respects.