All too often I have a client who does not know how to use Categories and Tags, or even worse…
they don’t use them at all.
Categories and Tags are used by your visitors and Search Engines to navigate through your posts, making it easier for them to find what they want. A further benefit would be that a visitor may tend to spend more time on your site by browsing similarly categorized or tagged articles that interest them.
A Simple Category and Tag Analogy
Think of a filing cabinet. A Category would be the label on the cabinet drawer and a Tag would be the label for each file folder contained within the drawer.
This is a great way to organize your posts… all you have to do is create and assign The Category and Tags to your posts, then WordPress will automatically create archives for them.
NOTE: Your Category and Tag tools are located in the right column, below the “Publish” button, when you create a new post. You can add new, or re-use categories and tags.
Recommended Usage of Categories and Tags
Don’t use Categories as Tags and vice-versa as each have their own role to play.
A good rule to follow when creating a new Category is to ask “how often do I plan to blog about this particular subject”… less than three, use a tag.
Think of the File Cabinet Drawer. One Category should be sufficient.
When setting Tags, look at the topic of your post along with what is contained in the content, such as: product names, proper names, or anything else that a visitor might look for when searching for your post.
More than one tag could be used for cross referencing.
SEO for Categories and Tags
WordPress creates a structure which allows you to access the same article in a number of different ways: monthly, daily, yearly, and author archives, along with tag archives and category archives.
A smart rule to follow is to ‘noindex’ all archives with the exception of the tag and category archives. Those should be indexed.
These settings can be made in any of the SEO plugins (All-in-one-SEO pack, Platinum SEO, etc.) or within your theme if SEO options are built in. I use the Atahualpa theme which has the SEO options built into the control panel.