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Organize Your Blog Design with Categories and Tags

Categories and tags help your readers find blog posts easily. Effective use of blog categories and tags helps with your SEO (search engine optimization) as well. Your use of categories and tags affects the navigation design of your blog, so you should take some time to select the blog categories and tags you want to use.

Add categories to your blog design

A category is a broad classification of a topic that you write about. Although most platforms call these categories, in Blogger, these are called Labels. Blog platforms require that a post be included in at least one category, even if it’s the Uncategorized category. Using categories give your visitors a way to quickly find information that interests them.

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To organize your blog posts effectively, keep your number of categories to a minimum. Blog categories are like the aisle signs in a grocery store. Wouldn’t you be overwhelmed if each aisle sign listed 20 product categories? Your readers feel the same. They’d rather choose from 7 categories than a list of 50, so try to stick with using no more than 10 categories.

Readers consider your blog more relevant in a topic if you have 30 posts in one category versus five posts in six different categories.

You can display categories in many different ways, from drop-down menus to images. A drop-down leaves you room in your sidebar for other important stuff and lets your readers read posts based on what topic interests them most.

If you’re having a hard time reducing your categories, you can also use subcategories to narrow down your topics without committing to full categories. For example, a category on social media might have subcategories for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and so on.

If you decide to use subcategories, make sure that the URLs to your blog posts don’t include a category and subcategory. Otherwise, you end up with long URLs like

www.blogname.com/category/subcategory/blog-post-title

To fix this, change your permalink settings.

Add tags to your blog’s design

Tags get a little deeper than a category. A tag is a word or phrase that describes a blog post more specifically than a category. Tags are like micro categories. Selecting a category for each blog post is required, but including tags is optional.

If the difference between categories and tags hasn’t quite clicked, check this out. Notice how tags and categories work together to describe a blog post.

How Tags and Categories Work Together
Category Tags
Recipes chicken soup, low-fat, slow cooker
Photography lens, Nikon, review, camera equipment
Hiking mountain trails, Smoky Mountain National Park, day trip
Museums kid museums, Raleigh, North Carolina, tourist attraction

Most blog platforms like WordPress (both .org and .com) show tags at the bottom of a blog post. Displaying tags on a blog post helps visitors find similar content within an entire category. Clicking a tag takes you to a page of excerpts from blog posts tagged with that same word or phrase.

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When you assign tags to your blog post, follow these tips:

  • Use tags that you think you’ll use again. This way, tags can better assist your readers by giving them more blog posts rather than just that one post you tagged “awesome places in NY.”

  • Don’t get carried away. Using too many tags might overwhelm your readers with options. Instead, stick with just a few.

  • Eliminate similar tags. If your category is Exercise, you don’t need both running and jogging. Stick with one convention so readers can look for just one tag to find more content on that topic.

If you’re on Wordpress.org and have a lot of categories you want to convert to tags (or vice versa), you can use the Categories and Tags Converter found on your Dashboard under Tools→Import.

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