What is the difference between categories and tags?
When I was first setting up my WordPress blog with My Branding System one of things that I needed to decide on was categories for my articles, but then I also noticed that there was this place for something called “tags”. As a beginning blogger there seemed to be so much to learn I was really focused on writing articles and creating content. Why did I need a tag?
Categories seemed self-explanatory to me. I figured out that they are like your Table of Contents for your articles. That was easy and correct. webmastershall These are the sections that you break your blog into. Your category name can be longer i.e. social media marketing. They can also have a sub-category i.e. Personal Branding – Insurance Agents. This is how your blog gets organized. If people are on my site and want to learn more about Twitter, for example, they can click along the side and all of the articles that I have written about Twitter. This is how your site is navigated.
I found out that Tags are words or phrases that are specific to individual posts. Tags differ from categories because they are words or phrases that are less often used. Tags can be searched through multiple sites and your blog could come up in a search which is your number one reason for paying attention to them!
Have you ever gone to other blogs and seen something called a “Tag Cloud”? This is a display of the tag words that have been used on that blog. Browsers can quickly look at the cloud of words or tags and identify the words that they would be looking for like key words.
Helpful Tips Using Categories and Tags
Categories help readers find information on your site
Categories are what your blog is about
Tags help readers find related information on your sites and other sites
Tags are like Index Words and must link to content
Tags work with the search engines
Keep your number of categories small
Put one article in one category
Use your tags multiple times
Focus on your content – Not categories and tags
In summary, really the most important thing is that categories and tags are helpful tools for the visitors to your site and provide a way to organize your content. As a beginning blogger do not make yourself crazy trying to out-think search engines. Focus on your content and organize your site with these tools.
Jerry Nihen, Social Media Consultant, says it best:
“All of the SEO tricks in the world won’t help you if you don’t have a website that people will want to find. The first thing you need to do (before implementing any SEO tricks) is to make your website a valuable resource in your niche. Does your website have a theme or selling point that accurately describes your business? Do you have content that people can read over and learn more about who you are, and how you can help them?”
Your blog should contain interesting content that is organized. One simple way to remember the difference is that categories help readers find articles once they get to your blog. Tags help others find your blog from other sites.
Debbie Russell is a marketing veteran who provides tips and tools for attraction marketing, social media marketing and building your reputation online. For more advise on how to brand your business for success, visit her website at [http://www.debbierussell.me]. For a turnkey branding system that puts your name on the Google map quickly and easily, visit My Branding System