So you’ve decided to start generating content on your website, you sit down and write an article all of your own, and just before you post it you see the little boxes ‘Categories’ and ‘Tags’, and you think to yourself “I have no idea what to use here”. You’re not alone, a lot of people don’t understand when or why to use them, or what the differences are. So here’s a short guide:
Almost all CMS platforms give you the option to categorise and tag your posts, so this is relevant to you if you whether you use WordPress, Drupal, Magento, Webflow, or any other content management system. Categories and tags give you a convenient way to group your posts together. That’s really all there is to it.
Keep It Useful
The key thing to remember about both Categories and Tags is that they’re used for organisation. So try to think of useful ways you’d like to separate your content for both yourself and your readers. Do you want to differentiate between news about your business and industry news? Use a category for each. Do you want to write useful guides for your readers? You could use a tag for that.
It’s really up to you how you structure your Categories and Tags, there’s no right and wrong way. Just useful and un-useful. Try not to use too many categories, or random tags, which leads us nicely on to our next point:
Tags are NOT Hashtags
A more appropriate name for ‘tag’ would really be ‘sub-category’ – so unless you’re hash-tagging on Instagram (and actually not even then, as popular as it may be) keep the tagging to a minimum. Tags are not a place to stuff keywords, and although they CAN be useful for getting extra results in search engines (we’ll show you how another time), they should be kept to a minimum – otherwise your tag section is going to get real ugly, real fast.
Remember that the use of tags, as well as categories above all else is to make content easy to find on your site. You should use them to group related posts together – if they do that in any way you’re probably not going far wrong. They should absolutely 1000% not be used for keyword stuffing.
It’s Not Rocket Science
Try not to worry or freak out too much. There’s really not much to it, you can try one thing and if after a few posts you realise you don’t like it, you can change it nice and easily, without too much of an impact on your site. Note the use of ‘too much’, if those tags get indexed and someone clicks it after you edit the tag, they will most likely get a 404 (page not found) error, but the same goes for changing any URLs on your site – It’s always best to think about it a little i advance, but if you get it slightly wrong it’s not the end of the world.
If, however, you’d like to get your blog off to the best start – let us know and we can offer some suggestions or do the setup for you.