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Creating WordPress Tags and Categories: Organizing for SEO

Creating WordPress Tags and Categories can be essential for organizing your content, improving user navigation, and boosting your SEO efforts. Understanding and implementing best practices for using tags and categories ensures your WordPress site is structured, organized, and optimized for users and search engines. Here’s a simple guide to help you do just that.

The current article is "8.2. Creating Tags & Categories" of our Complete SEO Guide Box.
Previous Article: 8.1. Arrange Content. Next Article: 8.3. Optimal Word Count

An Introduction to WordPress Taxonomy

WordPress taxonomy provides a way to organize content on your website. In WordPress, “taxonomy” refers to grouping posts (or post types) together based on a select number of relationships.

The most common default taxonomies in WordPress are categories and tags. Essentially, these taxonomies help classify and group your content into different sections so users can easily find the content they’re interested in.

Categories serve as broad labels to classify content on your website. Think of them as the table of contents, giving a general overview of the topics you cover. On the other hand, Tags function like the index of a book. They are more specific and describe details within the content, including exact keywords, names, or topics mentioned.

Creating WordPress tags and categories significantly improves your SEO efforts and overall site structure when used correctly. This is why understanding the taxonomy system and its components – categories and tags – is essential for anyone looking to optimize their WordPress site effectively.

Effective Usage of Categories

Keep It Broad: Use categories to cover general topics. For example, if you run a cooking blog, you might have categories like “Desserts,” “Main Courses,” and “Appetizers.”

Limit Your Number: Ideally, have 5-10 main categories for your website. This prevents content overlap and reduces confusion.

Hierarchy through Sub-categories: WordPress allows for sub-categories, aiding in better content structuring. Under “Desserts,” you could have “Cakes,” “Cookies,” and “Ice Cream.”

WordPress Categories play a crucial role in categorizing your content and improving navigation.

Effective Usage of Tags

Be Specific: Tags should highlight specific details. In a post under the “Desserts” category about chocolate chip cookies, tags like “chocolate chip,” “cookies,” and “baking” are appropriate.

Create as Needed: Unlike categories, you don’t need to limit the number of tags. However, each tag creates a new archive page, so only use tags that add value.

Avoid Duplication: Stay consistent with tag naming to avoid similar tags (e.g., “chocolate-chip” and “chocolate chips”).

WordPress Tags help to specify and detail your content.

SEO Benefits of Creating Categories and Tags

Improved Site Structure: A well-organized site helps search engines easily crawl and index.

Better User Experience: Organized tags and categories help readers navigate your content, leading to more extended site visits and lower bounce rates.

Contextual Signals for Search Engines: WordPress tags and categories provide search engines with contextual signals about the content’s topic, improving relevancy in search results.

Key Takeaways of Creating Categories and Tags

Avoid Overlap: A post should fit into one category to prevent confusion among search engines and users.

Use in URLs: Enable SEO-friendly permalinks to include categories and tags in URLs for better context.

Regular Maintenance: Regularly check and prune any unused or repetitive tags.

In WordPress, it’s easy to navigate to the categories section, set descriptions, and configure slug URLs for your categories.

First, log in to your WordPress dashboard.
Go to the “Posts” section in the left-hand sidebar.
Select “Categories” from the dropdown menu.
Here, you can see a list of your existing categories, add new ones, or edit the existing ones.

To add a new category, fill in the “Name” field with your desired category name.
WordPress will automatically create a slug based on this name.
However, you can manually change the slug URL if you want. The “slug” is the URL-friendly version of the category name, typically lowercase, and includes dashes instead of spaces. You can get a better idea in our article about How to Optimize Slug URLs for Posts.

Then, write a concise and informative description for your category in the “Description” field. This description helps users understand what content they can expect in this category and can be helpful for SEO purposes.

Finally, click the “Add New Category” button to save your new category with its description and slug URL.

Creating Categories Before Posting Content

It’s crucial to establish your categories before you start posting content on your WordPress site. Pre-defining your categories helps you maintain a consistent and organized content structure from the beginning. When you have a clear idea of your categories, you can plan your content around them, ensuring each post fits well within your site’s overall framework.

URL Slugs and Non-English Site Languages

Suppose your WordPress site’s native language isn’t English. In that case, it’s important to remember that URL slugs should only contain English letters while creating WordPress Categories and Tags. Non-English characters in URL slugs can cause issues with accessibility and SEO.

Web browsers and search engines might not correctly interpret non-English characters, leading to broken links or pages not being indexed. Using English letters in your URL slugs ensures that the website is accessible to your visitors globally and that search engines can effectively crawl and index your pages.

Accessing and customizing tags, including their descriptions and slug URLs, is straightforward in WordPress.

Log into your WordPress dashboard, then go to the “Posts” tab on the left-hand menu.
Select “Tags” from the dropdown menu.

Here, you will find your existing tags.

To create a new tag, fill in the “Name” field with the tag’s name.
WordPress will automatically create a slug URL based on this name, but you can modify the slug if desired. The “slug” is the URL-friendly version of the tag name, usually lowercase and separated by dashes instead of spaces.

Then, enter a clear and concise description for your tag in the “Description” field. This description can give users an idea of what to expect in the associated content and can be valuable for SEO.

Once you’ve filled out the information, click the “Add New Tag” button to save your new tag with its description and slug URL.

Check Existing Before Creating New Tags

Before creating tags for a new or existing post, you should check the tags you already have. Doing so can help you maintain consistency in your tagging, avoid creating similar or duplicate tags, and ensure that your tags effectively categorize your content.

To view your existing tags, log into your WordPress dashboard, navigate to the “Posts” tab in the left-hand sidebar, and select “Tags” from the dropdown menu.

Here, you’ll see a list of all the tags you’ve previously created, their descriptions, and the number of posts associated with each tag. Reviewing this list lets you determine if you already have a suitable tag for your new content or need to create a new one.

Using the Tag Cloud Widget in WordPress

In WordPress, you can use the Tag Cloud Widget to display a cloud of your most used tags in your site’s sidebar or footer.

A tag cloud shows all the tags of your website. In this widget, each tag appears as a word within the cloud. Each word’s size in the tag cloud indicates its relative frequency. The more posts connected to a specific tag, the visually bigger that tag appears in the cloud. This lets visitors quickly see what topics are most commonly covered on your site. When they click on a tag in the tag cloud, they are taken to the archive page for that tag, which shows all the posts tagged with it.

It’s an excellent way for users to explore content on your site and find posts on specific topics they are interested in. The tag cloud widget is a helpful tool to make the most of your WordPress tags and categories, helping users navigate your content more easily and discover new posts.

By default, a built-in tag cloud widget in WordPress shows a specific number of tags. You can change it in the Customizer settings if you need to.

Creating Categories and Tags: Conclusion

Creating WordPress Tags and Categories is critical for SEO optimization, site structure, and user experience. Following these practices can effectively improve your WordPress site for users and search engines.

The current article is "8.2. Creating Tags & Categories" of our Complete SEO Guide Box.
Previous Article: 8.1. Arrange Content. Next Article: 8.3. Optimal Word Count


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