So we’ve touched on 15 must-have items for a blog post and in this list I mention categories and tags. It’s one of the elements that got the most questions and I’m going to break down how I use and think about Categories vs Tags when it comes to WordPress blogs. (Note that blogger/blogspot blogs are set up differently.)
I like to use the analogy of a book. Categories are like chapters of the book – the main breakdown on the blog’s topics. Tags on the other hand, are like the book’s index in the back – crossing multiple categories.
For example, if I write a post about Easter Dinner Menu Plan I might place it in the Meal Plans category, but the tag will be “Easter”. Then when I’m writing about the latest Easter Hat Fashions, I’ll put that post in the Fashion and Style category, but still include the tag “Easter”. When I write about how to dye your own eggs it’ll go in “Crafts and DIY” but the tag will be “Easter”.
A reader who wants to see only crafts will go to the craft category, but someone who wants to see EVERYTHING you wrote about Easter can click the Easter tag and immediately see every post on your blog related to Easter – regardless of which topic category you place the post in.
Are Tags Still Important for SEO?
Not so much, no. But good tags make it easy for readers to find their way around your site. AND good tags make it easy for you to direct readers to content types on your site. For example, on Blissfully Domestic I set up tags for baby crafts and within the various articles I can now say “Visit all our baby craft ideas for more DIY tips!” and link readers to all the infant-related craft posts.
But Google isn’t likely to direct very much search engine traffic to the tag page vs a post or page so in that regard, tags aren’t as important. What I have found is that tags help me mentally stay on track with a post. And I use the keyword research tags to help me focus my posts.