Both, categories and tags, help you organise your blog content. We have already talked about categories in a previous article (click here to read), but just to recap, you could consider categories to be the table of contents for your blog. Tags, on the other hand, are more like the index, if we stick to the book analogy.
So tags are words or phrases that give details described in an article. You could also think of them as the keywords for your blog post.
Here is why it is important to use tags in your blog posts. You will also find out current best practice for their use.
How many tags should you use
You would use tags, unlike categories, to highlight different aspects of your blog post. You add tags that give details of what your article is about. So if you write about photography, you might have a broad category “technical tips”, whereas your tags could be “lens”, “exposure”, “light” and “background” for one article. So as you can see, you can assign multiple tags to each blog post. The ideal number is between 5 and 10; it depends what you write about and how many details you want to highlight.
What else can tags be used for
If you create a certain tag, a page is created in the background for that tag. The page contains all the articles you have tagged with this certain word or phrase. This means that you can link to the page which is a great way to keep your readers engaged with your writing because you lead to further articles of interest.
The page URL will look something like this: www.bestphotographer.com/tag/exposure
Going back to our photography example, you might want to link the word “exposure” to the “exposure” tag page so that the reader can read more articles where you have talked about exposure.
If you interlink a blog in this way will keep readers on your website for longer, which in turn will boost your SEO nicely. Google & Co like websites that provide a good user experience. Staying on the same website longer and visiting lots of pages in one session are good indicators for a positive user experience.
As you can see, using tags well can not only help your readers navigate your blog more easily, it will also help your SEO efforts which will give you better rankings in search engines.
A couple of Don’ts before we finish
Don’t use tags that you are going to use once. The purpose of tags is to link related posts together and that becomes pointless if there’s only one post that uses a tag.
Don’t use tags that duplicate category names. You don’t want to duplicate the links that are created by categories; it doesn’t give you any benefits.
Over to you
If you have any further questions, please leave a comment.
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