It’s important to have a strategy for WordPress categories and tags so you are using them in a manner that makes sense for your readers. The technical aspect of adding categories and tags to a post in WordPress is straightforward. What’s much more complicated is understanding when and why to do it. So, I’m going to talk about strategy and how to decide which categories and tags to add to each article. Here’s a strategy for how to use categories and tags in WordPress.
Think of Categories and Tags as Collections
Both categories and tags should be thought of as collections. You’re creating collections of content. Once you think of them in that manner all of the other decisions are simpler and make more sense.
Don’t Duplicate Categories and Tags
Now that we’re thinking of both categories and tags as collections, there is no reason to duplicate them. A collection of cookies is a collection of cookies whether it’s a category or a tag. Having two identical collections isn’t a benefit for the reader. It makes no difference to the reader that you consider one to be a category and one to be a tag. It doesn’t add any value. So, there’s no need to have both.
Aim for One Category
Try to only add one category to each article. It should be the one category that best describes the article. This is sometimes easier when you leverage parent and child categories. If you can assign a post to a child category, it can be part of the larger parent category as well without needing to assign it to multiple categories.
Only Create Tags for Items Worthy of a Collection
When creating tags remember you are creating a collection. Don’t create a tag if it’s so specific that there will only ever be one article in it. What happens then is that the tag page will be competing with your article. Since it would make more sense for the reader to go directly to the article than viewing a collection of one article, just skip the tag so it’s more likely the article will be found instead.
Do What’s Best For Your Readers
The primary strategy to follow when creating categories and tags in WordPress is to always do what’s best for your readers. If multiple categories make sense for your site and help your readers, then do it. But, likewise, don’t add as many tags as possible because you think it’s helping SEO. Add them only if it makes sense for the people you want to attract.
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