Know How to Use Categories and Tags

by Live, Laugh, Blog | 8/18/2012 08:25:00 AM in |

When you write a blog post, you want as many people to see it as possible and for them to be able to find it easily. Let's say you wrote a post on pellet guns, for example. It's a great post with lots of beneficial information, but no one is going to find it easily on your blog, or on the Web, unless you categorize it correctly. This is where categories and tags come into play.

Categories

Categories help readers find certain subject matter on your blog. They are broad, general subjects that many posts go into. Using the pellet gun example, you might categorize this post under "Guns." Other posts related to guns would also be listed in this category no matter what type of gun you are writing about. When someone comes to your blog and wants to know more about guns, they can search in the "gun" category and find every single post you've written and labeled "Guns."

Tags

Tags are a more specific way for bloggers to categorize their posts. Tags are specific words related directly to the subject matter of the post. If someone only wants to know about pellet guns and searches for that specific phrase, they will only see posts specifically tagged with "pellet guns." Tagging a blog post also helps with search engine optimization to bring in more traffic to your blog. When someone searches for the term "pellet guns" on the web, your post will show up somewhere in the results.

Not all blogging platforms are created equal. Some do not include the use of categories and some have both categories and tags. Many bloggers use both interchageably, but there is a difference between the two. Michael Martine explains it best in a post he wrote a few years ago.

"Categories only live in one place, but tags can repeat themselves and live in many places at once. Categories are like big buckets to divide the information itself, but tags are ways of labeling and identifying characteristics about the information."

Through the use of categories and tags, you can make searching and reading easier for your visitors and help yourself gain more traffic. Use them consistently, and include a tag cloud in your sidebar, for a professional looking blog that people will return to time and time again.


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