Categories vs Tags in WordPress – How to Use WordPress Categories and Tags in Pages & Posts


There is a right way and a wrong way in how to use categories and tags in WordPress. This video will show you exactly how to use them the right way.

WordPress Categories vs. Tags

How to Use Categories to Strategically Feature Popular Content

1. Primary WordPressCategories

Primary categories are made up of the high level topics that I feature throughout my blog. These are the posts that I place front and center on my home page. They are also the posts that I send out to my email list. My primary categories are blogging, social media, marketing, SEO, psychology, entrepreneur, business, and HR.

Each of these categories covers a broad array of current topics and possible future topics. By having this type of broad coverage, it keeps me from having to create new categories every other week for a post that does not fit. It also allows me to have eight categories that are filled with great content. If I chose niche topics, then I may end up with only a couple of posts in each category.

I recommend having no more than ten primary categories. Anything beyond ten will be overwhelming to new visitors. It will also water down the quality and consistency of content across all of your primary categories.

2. Secondary WordPress Categories

My secondary categories are made up of my niche topics. These posts usually have little competition in Google search, or they are not sexy enough to feature on my home page. I will give you two examples of secondary category content so that you can better understand what I am referring to.

The first example is a category dedicated to quotes. The content in this category is made up of simple blog posts that are a collection of 20 to 40 quotes. I have read over 1000 business and self-help books over the past two decades, and these posts are focused on the authors of these books. While these posts are highly engaging to someone finding them through a Google search, a new visitor to my home page might not even recognize many of the names of these authors.

Another one of my secondary categories is my statistics category. The content in here is largely comprised of statistics posts on specific industries. Way back in episode 2, I shared with you that statistics posts are the best way to passively build high quality backlinks. A big percentage of news reporters perform Google searches to find statistics to use in their articles. If they use a stat from one of my posts, then they will link back to my blog as the source.

Do not get me wrong. These statistics posts are all made up of top notch content. However, only a small percentage of my audience cares about the latest coffee industry statistics and trends. That is why this is a secondary category.

The secondary categories will all run through your latest posts feed. They will also get indexed just as fast as your primary categories. The secondary category posts will usually account for 80% of a pro bloggers organic Google traffic.

I was recently sent emails from three separate listeners in a 48 hour period asking the same question…

How do I balance writing posts on my passion and writing long tailed keyword posts that will have a better chance to rank on Google?

This question led to conversations about not wanting the passion posts to be drowned out by all of the long tail posts. The solution was to use primary categories for the passion posts and secondary categories for the long tail posts. By creating a primary category for your passion posts, you will be able to feature those posts across your blog. Meanwhile, your long tail posts will continue to drive traffic from Google, while they are strategically placed in the background.

WordPress Tags Are Better Than Sub-Categories

If you are thinking about using sub-categories, then you are better off using tags to sub-categorize your content. Too many sub-categories can make the site hierarchy a little unbalanced, and this can lead to posts not getting enough authority passed to them. To simplify this, more authority leads to higher Google rankings.

Because WordPress tags were abused for SEO purposes, the Google algorithm completely ignores them as being positive factors. If you jam your post with a bunch of tags, then it can actually lead to a Google penalty. The best practice is to use no more than three WordPress tags on any given post.

I hoped you learned a few things from my video on categories vs tags in WordPress. I did my best to show you in this tutorial how to use WordPress categories and tags. Written by Brandon Gaille

Brandon Gaille breaks down the top strategies that pro bloggers use to generate a ridiculous amount of traffic and revenue. His personal blog is visited by over 1 million small business owners every month.

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