It never hurt anyone to be organized. In WordPress, the content management system that McNutt & Partners uses to manage the content on our clients’ websites, organization comes in the form of categories. Categorizing your blog posts in WordPress is akin to a taxonomy system—essentially giving your posts a roof to live under with similar posts of their kind. Not only can this help tremendously in terms of SEO, but it can help your website users better find the content they are looking for.
What are categories in WordPress?
Category pages in WordPress are used to group similar posts together. You can categorize any type of web page in WordPress, but here we’ll talk specifically about categorizing blog posts. For example, if you are a travel agency, and you write a blog titled, “What to Pack for Your Summer Vacation,” then your categories might be “Summer Travel,” “Summer Vacation,” “Travel Tips,” and so on. The idea is to think of broad categories that other future posts may fit into.
Ideally, a post’s categories will appear as clickable links either below the blog post or in the sidebar. That way, a user can easily access other posts within that category.
How do categories help SEO?
Categorizing your blog posts in WordPress is yet another tool in your arsenal for search engine optimization (SEO). In essence, category pages (the ones that contain all of the blog posts in that category) serve as landing pages that appear when a user searches for a corresponding search term. Using the example above, if a person searched “travel tips,” in Google, then theoretically your category page for “travel tips” could come up in the search results. The more posts you have under that category, the better, because it can help keep visitors on your site longer.
The category “landing page” also serves to prevent individual posts from competing with one another. Since the posts are grouped together under the larger category, Google will rank that above the individual posts, so they are not cannibalizing one another.
How do categories benefit my site visitors?
Just like a customer does not want to walk into a retail store to find it disorganized and cluttered, a visitor to your website does not want to visit it to find it in disarray. A clean, organized website bodes well for the people who visit it, as it enhances the overall user experience. Perhaps a person was initially incentivized to come to your page by one particular post, but having your other posts categorized can help keep them on your site longer. Show your site visitors that there is more on that topic to be seen, and it can benefit your web traffic.
How do I categorize my posts?
Categorizing your blog posts in WordPress is easy. When you’re on the “New Post” tab in WordPress, you’ll see the categories section on the right side of the screen. If you are doing this for the first time, go ahead and create 10-12 categories that you frequently cover in your blog. That way, the next time you create a post, you’ll simply have to select the relevant categories. To do that, all you have to do is check the box next to the appropriate category. You can also add new categories at any time.
Wait, what about tags?
Under the categories box in WordPress, you’ll see a section for tags. If categories are the broad umbrella, tags are just a more specific way to organize information. Ideally a tag should be a word or short phrase that relates to the blog post. Going back to our example above, tags that relate to “Travel Tips,” could include “packing your suitcase,” “planning your summer trip,” and so on. Since your blog post itself is a subset of the category, and so are tags, then your tags very well may relate closely to the title and content of your blog.
Making sure your blog posts are categorized and tagged should be part of your regular routine when scheduling and publishing posts in WordPress. It will benefit your site visitors to be able to easily and quickly find information they are interested in, as well as give you more drops in the bucket in terms of SEO.
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