How to Use Blog Categories and Tags the Right Way

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Betsy Kent President, Be Visible Associates

Posted on August 24th 2014

How to Use Blog Categories and Tags the Right Way

Blog categories and tags are the tools used to organize content for your readers. Whether you’ve been blogging for a while or in the process of just getting started, you are going to have to make some decisions about them. It’s easy when you think of categories as your blog’s ‘Table Of Contents”.

How To Use Blog Categories

If you’re new to blogging try not to get too caught up with categories (especially if it keeps you from writing). Wait until you have published a few posts before you start thinking about categorizing. But once you have some content under your belt, you’ll have a clearer idea of the best way to organize it. A few broad categories are better lots of very specific ones (that may only contain one or two entries).

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you are an Interior Designer and your blog is where you share your design inspiration, provide practical tips and muse on design in general.

Your categories could be

  • Inspiration
  • Design Tips
  • Musings

Then, subcategories help you sort your posts so visitors can easily find related content on your blog (and stay on your site longer!).

Screen Shot 2014 08 21 at 9.37.20 AM How To Use Blog Categories and Tags The Right Way

Recommendation: Create subcategories only when you have 2-3 posts that fit into each one.

How To Use Tags

Tags can substitute for subcategories. Since they are visible on your blog posts they can act as pointers to related content on your blog. Tags provide a great method for you to sort your content when you’re just getting started.

Example:

You (as the Interior Designer) have recently written a blog post about your trip to Sicily and the beautiful hand-painted ceramic tiles you saw there. Last year you published a post about your trip to Barcelona and the ceramic tiles in that city’s public parks. Also, last month you published a blog about the ancient Roman pottery on display at your local museum.

So, now you have three blog posts about ceramics and two blog posts about Italy. Here’s how you would tag your Sicily post:

Screen Shot 2014 08 21 at 9.41.53 AM How To Use Blog Categories and Tags The Right Way

Because your related blog posts are tagged with the same keywords your readers will be able click on Ceramics and find your blogs about Barcelona tiles and Roman pottery, or click on Italy and find your blog about Roman pottery.

So tagging can solve the problem of having too few posts for a broad category or subcategory. There are no hard and fast rules about the amount of posts required per subcategory, but 3-4 is probably a good rule of thumb.

“What’s good for my readers is good for my blog”

Make this your mantra and you’ll make the right decisions about your categories. And don’t worry, you can change your blog categories down the road if you need to.

Disclaimer: I have been neglecting the blog categories and tags on my blog, hence the inspiration for this blog post. I have some work to do!

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Betsy Kent

President, Be Visible Associates

I’m Betsy Kent, an Internet Marketing expert, president of Be Visible Associates. I was one of the first people in the New York metro area to work with small businesses and help them implement Internet marketing programs. In fact, I began so long ago that I remember when Yahoo was the biggest search engine and Google was just getting started. I have personally worked with hundreds of new and experienced business owners from at least 50 different industries and have experience in Search marketing, SEO, Social Media, blogging, and website development.

I’m best known for my ability to cut through the clutter and convey complex concepts in ways that “non-techy” people can “get it.” After all, I’m not a 25-year old who grew up with the web. I understand the frustrations that business people face when it comes to the Internet and that's why my blog "Just Ask Betsy" and my Facebook Page is full of helpful tips written in language that anyone can understand.

My greatest realization from working with so many entrepreneurs over the years is that there are thousands of people out there struggling with their websites, confused about blogging, and mystified by Social Media. I have managed a zillion online marketing programs, written hundreds of blog posts, and taught innumerable people how to understand how the web actually operates. I can help.  

Today I focus all my energy on teaching entrepreneurs how to grow their businesses using the web through live virtual group programs and private consulting. 

 

 

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