Could you talk about categories and tags? I know the difference between the two, but sometimes I want to use specific categories for myself so it is easy to navigate my blog and other times I feel like I should use broad categories that would be better for Googling. And how many tags are enough? Should you always have a tag? And should you go back through old posts and redo the categories and tags once you find a system you like or only focus on new stuff?
Thanks for submitting a question Shannon! For starters, just in case others aren’t sure…
What’s the difference between categories and tags?
Generally, categories are for broad items like recipes, design or style and Tags are for more specific items like spicy foods, package design, or chunky jewelry.
Some people get creative with their tags and use them almost as hash tags – things I think of in the shower or my cat is a total weirdo – but I find this to be confusing if I haven’t been reading a blog for a long time. Even if I have, I almost never click on random, wordy tags.
On XO Sarah you might notice that I don’t use categories at all. I use tags and I use them only for broad items. It was sort of a random choice on my part as tags/categories can be used in the same way. You can use either, or you can use both, it will depend on the type of blog you have.
I will henceforth use only the word tag, but feel free to interchange it with category, or label if you’re a Blogger user.
How many tags should you use?
I would recommend using no more than 15-20 tags. (If you have something like say, a nail blog, and want to list all the colors and stripes and sparkles and polka dots, go for it, but I recommend moving your list to a page instead of a sidebar.) I have 52 tags currently, but you’ll notice that only 15 are displayed in my sidebar. These are the ones I use most and get the most traffic.
Limiting the number of tags will not only prevent your design from looking cluttered, it will help give your blog focus. Each month when I lay out my editorial calendar I add a How To, Nerd Party, and Blog Love post for each week and sprinkle in Design, What I Wore, House, I <3 Detroit, and personal posts on the rest of the days. This way my readers know what to expect each week and it gives new visitors a snapshot of what I write about.
Last week I added a new widget to the bottom of my blog which randomly selects a post from one of my 15 categories. This meant lots of old posts were coming up and I was able to see how unfocused I was when I started blogging. I’d write a post about an aerial class, my dog, what I wore and throw in a recipe, which made my titles random and tags unfocused. I ended up spending a night cleaning up these posts and now I stick with one topic/post and just a tag or two.
Do I always need a tag?
Yes :) If your post doesn’t fit into any of the tags you’re already using on your blog then ask yourself “Is this really a good fit for my blog?” and then “Will I be writing about this enough to create a new tag?” I cannot tell you how many times I created a new tag and wrote one or two posts before never using it again.
What about new tags and old posts?
There are two reasons I would edit the tags on a post. 1. If an old post is getting lots of traffic – you’ll want to make sure readers are able to easily find similar content. Or 2. If a new tag is getting lots of traffic – check for old posts that might benefit from the new tag.
The main reason for tagging posts is to help your readers find more of what they’re looking for, so take a night to scan through your posts. Figure out what topics your readers enjoy (based on hits, comments and shares) and what you like writing about best and then narrow down the number of tags you use. Not only will it make your blog easier to navigate, it may give you a new perspective on what your site is all about.24option binary trading review?????ngorongorocraterhouse rentals in miami?????? ? ?????? ??? ????????????????? ?????? ???????? ???????? ?????? 100000000 ???????????? ? ??????????