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Categories vs Tags - WordPress SEO Best Practices

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Readers often ask us, which is better for SEO:  Categories or labels?

You might not be sure what are Actually the categories or tags on WordPress, and how they are different. Knowing this, we offer you this article to help you use them correctly.

In this article, we'll explain the differences between categories and -tag- for organizing your content, and how they can impact SEO rankings.

But before, if you have never installed WordPress discover How to Install a WordPress Blog in 7 Steps et How to search, install and activate a WordPress theme on your blog.

Then, back to why we are here.

What is the difference between categories and labels?

The categories are intended for a large grouping of your publications. Think of them as general topics or the table of contents for your WordPress website. Categories are hierarchical, which means you can create subcategories.

Labels - tag- are intended to describe specific details of your posts. Think of them as the index words of your website. They allow you to micro-categorize your content. The labels are not hierarchical.

For example, the article you are viewing right now is in our category "WordPress Tutorials ". You can see all the articles in this category by choosing WordPress Tutorials in the widget categories from the blog page of our website.

This article is accompanied by labels such: categories, categories vs tags, custom taxonomy, seo, seo best practices, content sorting, tags.

You will not see these labels displayed anywhere on our article. However, they help users find this article in relevant searches on our blog.

One of the biggest differences between tags and categories is that all WordPress posts should be categorized, but they don't always need the tags.

If you don't give your post a category, WordPress will automatically assign it to the default category. That's what we call " Unclassified (e) ", But it is often useful to rename the category" Unclassified (e) "To something like" Other " or " Diverse ».

Note: By default, only blog posts have categories and tags in WordPress. However, you can add categories and tags to your WordPress pages using a plugin.

How can you add categories and tags in WordPress?

You can add categories and tags in WordPress when creating or editing a post. You will find them on the right side under the settings " Documents».Categories vs tags SEO best practices wordpress content blogpascher

You can also go to Articles »Categories et Articles »Labels to add new categories and tags.

How many WordPress categories should you have?

There is no specific number of categories you must have. In most cases, you will want somewhere between 5 and 10 in order to rank your articles properly and make your website easy to navigate.

Also read our guide on: How to rename the default category of WordPress

Categories are intended to encompass a large group of publications. You can use subcategories and tags to divide your posts into small groups.

If you are just starting a blog, then don't worry about trying to find a perfect list of categories. Just choose 3-5 broad categories and add more over time.

Should I use subcategories?

You don't have to use subcategories, and many blogs (including BlogPasCher) don't. However, subcategories are useful if you have a large category with many articles that could be grouped into smaller sections.

For example, you might have a "WordPress Plugins" category that contains an increasing number of WordPress plugin listings and reviews.

Categories vs tags seo best practices wordpress content blogpascher 1

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You can put these articles in their own subcategory, so it's easy for readers to find them. You create a new child category for "WordPress Plugins" called "Community" and move those posts to that category.

Using categories in the URLs of your posts

Some sites use the category name in permalinks (post url), which you can configure under Settings »Permalinks.

Categories vs tags seo best practices wordpress content blogpascher 2

If this is the case on your website, then your article First will have a URL something like this:

... / plugin-WordPress /

After moving this article to its category child, it will have a new URL:

 ... / WordPress-plugin / community /

Normally, WordPress will try to redirect the old URL to the new one. It's definitely worth checking that your links are still working. If necessary, you can create redirect 301 from the old URL to the new one.

Another option is to keep the article in the parent category as well as assign it to the child category, but this can have drawbacks.

Discover How to assign categories to your WordPress pages

Although the BlogPasCher website has categories in the URL, we still recommend that users use a shorter URL structure that only contains the post name.

This will give you maximum flexibility to rearrange content without worrying about setting up redirects.

All of our new websites use the modern post name URL structure. BlogPasCher is over 6 years old so it has the legacy URL structure and the URL change structure is not recommended for SEO which is why we have kept this old one.

Can I assign a post to multiple categories?

WordPress allows you to place an article in multiple categories. It can be several parent categories, or a parent category and subcategory.

Having multiple categories will not benefit your SEO. You should only assign posts to multiple categories if it makes more sense for your readers.

Read also: How to give a unique style to different categories on WordPress

It is possible that having your article in multiple categories could cause SEO issues due to duplicate content.

If you are using multiple categories, try to avoid placing an article in two or more main (parent) categories. Each article must fall under a main category.

Is there a limit to the number of tags - tag an article can have?

WordPress itself has no limit on the number of tags you can have on each post. You could potentially assign 1000 or more labels to an item!

However, we definitely don't recommend this.

The purpose of labels is to help tie related publications together. Think of them as an index section in a book. Each tag is like a keyword in the index.

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Tags are useful for users who search your website. Some plugins that display related posts use tags to help them determine which post topics are related.

We normally suggest that you stick to a maximum of 10 labels per item.

Categories vs Tags: What's Better For SEO?

Are there any WordPress SEO benefits of using categories on tags or vice versa?

The short answer is no.

Categories and labels serve different purposes. You have to use categories, but you don't have to use tags if you don't want to. However, we recommend that you use both, as appropriate, to help readers navigate your website.

Ultimately, you should design your website with users in mind. All search engines want to show users the content that will be most useful to them.

This means that by organizing your content for the best usability, it will also help you achieve better SEO rankings.

Discover also some premium WordPress plugins  

You can use other WordPress plugins to give a modern look and optimize the grip of your blog or website.

We offer you here some premium WordPress plugins that will help you do that.

1. CommentPress

CommentPress is a powerful and compact premium WordPress plugin that allows you to insert, edit and delete comments quickly and easily. CommentPress uses Ajax, jQuery and PHP to give visitors the possibility to insert comments without having to reload the page.

Commentpress ajax comments insert edit and delete comments for wp plugin wordpress

This plugin has many customization options, finally giving it the look and appearance you want. It has a captcha to block spam and brings more security to your comment section.

Read also our article on How content marketing affects the SEO of your blog

Its main features are: the easy insertion of comments, the possibility for users to reply to specific comments, the pagination of comments, complete management of the administration of the comments section, buttons for easy insertion of images, videos and links, a fully responsive layout, a Captcha to secure the form and avoid spam, and much more.

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2. Smart Podcast Player

Smart Postcast Player is designed for podcasts. This WordPress audio player plugin is a premium product. It can easily manage your entire media library using the player Smart Track for an entirely unique show.

smlart podcast player.jpg

This way you can use it for music, podcasts or even just so that your visitors can download media on an ad hoc basis.

You can even capture the email addresses of listeners through your mailing list.

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3. Was this Helpful

Was This Helpful is a premium WordPress plugin used to value the comments of your readers. It should be noted that if a positive comment motivates you to do better, a negative comment on the other hand helps you to find the gaps, and to improve your blog; making it more useful for other visitors.

Was this helpful wordpress plugin

This plugin is unique because it asks visitors to answer the question of why they don't find a post useful when they click the "NO" option. Likewise, it asks visitors what they like the most when they click on the "YES" option.

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In addition, you can go to the page / article listing where you will see a Yes / No section, which allows you to quickly see the statistics, finally to have a complete overview on the quality of your articles and your pages.

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Other recommended resources

We also invite you to consult the resources below to go further in the grip and control of your website and blog.


Here ! That's it for this tutorial. We hope this article has helped you understand the difference between categories, tags and SEO best practices for finding your content. 

However, you can also consult our resources, if you need more elements to carry out your projects of creation of Internet sites, by consulting our guide on WordPress blog creation.

Feel free to share the tip with your friends on your social networks. But, in the meantime, let us know your comments and suggestions in the dedicated section.


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