One common discussion when it comes to WordPress blogs is which is more important for SEO purposes — tags or categories? With that, what is each of these and how do they differ? And of course, are they really needed and is there such a thing as too many tags or categories in your articles? Hopefully, this will help to clear up any confusion you may have about these tricky items.
What is the difference?
Before you can determine how to use these items, you need to know what they are.
Categories are a broad grouping of your posts. It is almost like a table of contents, if you want to know about Product A, you would click on that category; Product B, on its category and so on. Within the categories, you can have subcategories as well. So you could have Product A with options 1, 2 and 3 and the same for Product B. It is a simple way for your readers to see what your blog is about.
Categories are a requirement of a blog and you have to pick one, otherwise, WordPress blogs and other platforms will put them in an uncategorized section where they will be harder to find.
Tags are to identify specific items in posts but are optional; it is like the index in the back of a book. Tags could be words that are specific features of your product so if they click on Tag A, they will see any product that you have tagged with this. You may not want tags to be too general such as “silver” but you want them more specific like “knee length silver zipper”.
Can You Have Too Many Categories?
Based on the above, categories are something you need to pay some attention to. But is there such as thing as too many categories? One consideration when you are writing content or hiring a content writer is how many articles are you likely to have on a subject. For instance, writing about boots is a good category as it is general, a lot of articles can fit there, and you will be showing fresh content in that category quite often. But creating a top-level category of “5 inch, teal boots” may not be worth it as you likely won’t have too many posts there. You could create a sub-category or just use tags while you categorize it under “Boots”.
With all that said, content writing will take care of a lot of tags and therefore, SEO for you. You could create hundreds of categories for everything you sell but it may be better to create half a dozen categories and then use tags for everything else below it. In the above example, you could have a category for “Boots”, “Shoes” and “Knee Highs Boots” but use tags elsewhere. This keeps your site neater and makes it easier if you are changing products or adding new lines to what you sell.
If you aren’t comfortable with these items, and you are hiring a ghost writer for your content writing, consider asking them for assistance.