Why You Need to Use Categories and Tags in Your Blog Posts

Why You Need to Use Categories and Tags in Your Blog Posts
Reading Time: 4 minutes

What would you do if I told you that taking a few seconds to do something that will improve your search engine optimization, keep visitors on your site longer, increase your page views and decrease your bounce rate, you’d do it, right? I hope so. Taking just a few seconds to use categories and tags in all your blog posts will absolutely help.

Here’s why you need to incorporate categories and tags in your blog posts…

  1. Categories and tags are keywords. Google loves keywords. Especially those that are relevant to the nice fresh content that you’re writing. Those very keywords, you discovered from your research, your target audience is entering into the search box. Additionally, they’re the ones that will help you come up on the first page of Google when someone is looking for information on that topic.
  2. They help keep visitors on your site longer. When used, Categories and Tags appear on all your blog posts. When someone clicks on one of them, all the articles with that topic come up. Furthermore, it piques the curiosity of your visitor. The longer a visitor stays on your site, the higher the chances that they’ll do something, like convert into a lead or make a purchase.
  3. It decreases your bounce rate. The bounce rate is calculated by Google Analytics (you need to have this setup already). It measures how long a visitor stays on your site. If they land on your site and not see what they want, they’ll leave quickly – or bounce out. You don’t want that. Moreover, you want a bounce rate around or lower than 50%. That means if you get 100 visitors a week to your site, 50% of them stick around to read more than one blog post.

Where do I add Categories and Tags?

Categories and tags in WordPressIn a WordPress blog, they are over on the right column about halfway down the page. Choose no more than 3 categories. You can choose as many tags as are relevant to your blog article. Think of the category as the general topic of your post and the tags as the major keywords that you mention in the article.

Below Categories are the Tags. Add as many as pertinent to your post. Don’t over do it. Choosing these comes easier after you’ve done your keyword research. Always add your name and your company name to the tags. If you’re local, add your city. Think of different ways to say the same thing. Once you’ve used tags in more than one post, click on “Choose from the most used tags” and you’ll see a “tag cloud”. The ones with in the larger font are the ones that you use most often. Just click on them to add them. Saves a ton of time!

Another mistake I see people make is leaving “Uncategorized” as a category. This is an easy one-time setup fix.

WordPress Menu - Posts, Categories & TagsOver on the left menu, under Posts, click on Categories. Here you can add all the topics that you plan to blog about in advance. You can always add a category on the fly from the right menu.

WordPress Menu- settingsThen, on the left under Settings, Writing, find “Default Post Category”, and choose one of the most generic topics that describes your blog. This way if you forget to pick a category, it won’t be under “Uncategorized”. “Uncategorized” doesn’t help whatsoever – it definitely isn’t a keyword! If you have blog posts with “Uncategorized”, they’ll be automatically changed to whatever topic you indicate here.

When blogging regularly, at least weekly, and using categories and tags religiously in all your blog posts, you’ll start to see an increase in the number of page views per visit and a decrease in the bounce rate.

Have you been blogging and not using categories and tags?

You can easily add them to past blog posts by going to “All Posts” from the left menu. You’ll see a list of all your posts and columns for both categories and tags. Hover your mouse over the the post title and you’ll see links. Click on “Quick Edit” and you’ll be able to add the relevant categories and tags for that post. Click on “Edit” to open the full editing screen if you need to.

In conclusion, this is just a small part of what it takes to blog effectively. The easy-to-follow tutorials on SkillShare will guide you through planning what to write about, how to blog on WordPress, how to get exposure and drive traffic to your website with social media marketing and how to see what’s working and not working each month.

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