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The Importance of Categories and Tags for SEO

June 20, 2017

If you do any kind of blogging on your website, you’ve probably come across the terms ‘categories’ and ‘tags’. If you’re like most people you may not be sure what these are or how to use them correctly to maximize traffic to your site.

How to Set Up Categories and Tags

It might help to think about your blog as a book. Each blog post is another section of the book. To connect them all in a logical fashion, you use categories and tags. Categories are the chapters of the book. Tags are smaller, more specific items like you’d find in each chapter. Make sure they complement each other. If you turn to a chapter titled ‘How to Cook on a Grill’ you wouldn’t want to find ice cream recipes there, would you?

Here’s an example. Let’s say you have a cooking blog. Categories might be Italian, Mexican, and Dessert. Tags might be chicken, beef, and chocolate. Each provides a level of detail about the blog. Within your site, categories and tags can be used to help your readers find out more on the same, or similar, topics.

How Search Engines Use Categories and Tags

For SEO (Search Engine Optimization) purposes, categories and tags increase your visibility on search engines. To determine where you site shows up in the list of results generated by a search, Google and other search engines use a giant algorithm. One thing this algorithm factors in is how much your site makes sense. It looks at things like categories and tags to make sure the focus of your posts is in line with the overall intention of your page.

Let’s use the cooking blog as an example again. If you were to post a blog about skydiving on that page and use categories and tags that are intended for food, the search engines’ algorithms would get confused and spit this out as a possible conflict. Any conflict will lower where that post shows up in the list of results.

Proper use of categories and tags makes your blog easier to navigate for readers and increases your sites rank on the search engine results page. For help setting up your categories and tags, see our post on this. Still not sure your categories and tags are set up correctly? Contact Meredith Communications for a complimentary consultation.

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