About a month ago we gave you 6 reasons why you should have a blog. Now we are going to go a bit more in depth on two key features that make your blog more user-friendly: categories and tags.
Both are highly useful, specifically because they:
- Organize your blog. You can group similar content together, which will become especially important after you have been producing content for a while.
- Help your readers find content they want to read. Readers simply aren’t going to scroll through pages and pages of blog posts to find the content they want.
- Encourage you to provide a variety of content. You can use your categories to plan your topics and ensure you are offering valuable content on the issues that matter most to your customers.
- Can help with SEO. When possible use keywords for categories and tags so that people can find you online.
They do serve different purposes, however. Keep reading for tips on using both.
Categories are the major themes or subjects you will cover in your blog. They are the topics, relevant to your business, that people will most want information on. They’re broader and more inclusive. For most businesses, 10 to 20 is about as many as you will need.
That said, you can have as many as you want, as long as you have at least a few posts in each category. You don’t want visitors clicking on a category to find no or very little content there. Consider using fewer categories initially, until you build up your archives. Then you can add more categories and reorganize if you want. They should be positioned in a side bar or drop-down menu, so users can easily find them.
To create categories for your business, think about the challenges or questions your target audience is likely to have, and build categories around that. In other words, what would they search for? Be descriptive, but don’t make the categories too long.
For example, a landscaping business might have categories, such as:
- Landscaping Design
- Garden Tips
- Maintenance Advice
- Patios, Decks and Pools
- Landscape Lighting
- Water Features
- Organic Landscaping
Tags are much more specific words and phrases that describe key points in a blog post. They allow users to drill down and find more specific content, so use as many tags as necessary, including anything you think a user might want more information on, and certainly any keywords you are tracking.
Going back to the landscaping example, that could mean using tags, such as “drought-resistant plants,” “solar-water fountains,” “DIY pavers,” “attracting birds,” “spring bulbs” and others. Just make them different than your categories.
These are typically “attached” to the blog, usually at the end and they link to other blogs with the same tag. Or you could include “A Most Popular Tags” section in the side bar if you want to put them front and center. Placement is built into your blogging platform, so play around with it until you like what you see.
We highly recommend you spend some time creating both categories and tags, and then using them consistently. They will provide your readers with a much better experience, while helping you keep your content organized.