When it comes to organizing your blog, having a solid set of categories and tags in place is key. Without categories and tags, your blog posts are just one gigantic jumble of information. Think of it like a filing cabinet with one folder containing 200 pages of paper. How is anyone supposed to sort through it to find what they need?
Your blog without an organization system is like that filing cabinet. People come to your blog to learn. Maybe there’s a particular topic they’re interested in. Or maybe they want to refer back to a post you wrote several months ago. Without any organization, finding what they’re looking for is going to be difficult. And yes, that’s what search bars are for, but what if they don’t know exactly what they’re looking for?
That’s why using categories and tags is so important. If a reader knows the general category they want to look at, all it takes is a click, and boom, they have access to exactly what they need. Here’s how to organize your blog posts with categories and tags.Organize your blog content with categories and tags for a better user experienceClick To Tweet
What is the difference between categories and tags?
Okay, so first things first. What’s the difference between categories and tags? Sure categories and tags both allow you to organize your blog posts, but how do they differ?
Categories are the broad topics your blog covers. If your blog was a book, think of them as the chapters. Each blog post should fit well within one category. Here on my blog, I use the following categories: blogging, design, tools, and WordPress.
In comparison, tags are more detailed than categories. Think of them as the index of your blog. Since they’re the keywords from your posts, each post will likely contain multiple tags. Some tags I use include start a blog, grow your blog, and plugins.
To sum it up, categories are the general subjects you write about. Tags are more specific topics
within those subjects.
Should you use categories, tags, or both?
Now that you know the difference between categories and tags, what should you use to organize your blog?
The answer is both! Because categories and tags serve different purposes (categories are more broad, while tags are more specific), you’ll really get the most out of using both. Just using one or the other may work fine, but if you want your blog to be super organized, using both is a must!Use both categories and tags to create a great system for organizing your blog postsClick To Tweet
Imagine a blog using just categories. Sure, people will be able to find what they’re looking for based on your categories, but if they want to get more specific, it’s going to be difficult, especially if you have a lot of posts in your archive.
On the other hand, just using tags would provide a lot of organization, but they’re a bit too specific. Someone might be looking for a topic that could encompass multiple tags, in which case there’s going to be a lot of clicking!
How to create an organized set of categories
In order to create a set of organized categories, it’s important to first evaluate the main topics your blog covers. Think of these categories as broad topics that don’t have any overlap.
Here are some examples:
- Food blog: main dishes, side dishes, desserts, beverages
- Lifestyle blog: house & home, style, food, travel
Notice how the categories above are broad and unique? This allows people to easily navigate your content and find exactly what they’re looking for based on subject.
Take a look at your current categories and answer the following questions:
- Do each of your categories cover one subject and one subject only?
- Do each of your categories align with the theme of your blog?
- Can any categories be broken down into new categories?
- Can any categories be combined?
- Are there any categories that haven’t been used?
- Are there any gaps in your categories?
Once you’ve ran through your categories, take action. For any categories that need to be broken down to be more specific, create new ones. Any that are unused can be deleted. And create new ones to fill in any gaps.
Remember, don’t go crazy with the amount of categories. If you have a niche or theme, you really shouldn’t have a ton of topics that you talk about anyway. I’d say create no more than 6-8 categories. If you find yourself with more, then you can probably combine some.
How to create an organized set of tags
Now that you have your categories created, you can create an organized set of tags. Think of them as an index of your blog. What specific topics would someone be looking for?
Using the same example from the previous section, here are some tag examples:
- Food blog: chicken, pasta, potatoes, kid-friendly
- Lifestyle blog: outfit of the day, out and about, Paris, budget-friendly
Notice how those tags can be used across the categories? For the food blog example, the pasta tag can be used within the main dishes or side dishes category, meanwhile on a lifestyle blog, the outfit of the day tag can be applied to a style post or a travel post (if the focus of the post is travel, but it happens to include an outfit of the day).
Take a look at your categories. What are some sub-topics that fit under each? Or what sub-topics can be applied to multiple categories? Not sure? Again, think of this as the index to your blog. Figure out what those keywords are that someone would be searching for and create accordingly.
Now that you have an organized system of categories and tags, it’s time for the hard part — categorizing and tagging your posts. Because what good is your new system if you can’t use it?Once you’ve created an organized system of categories and tags, make sure to use them!Click To Tweet
Depending on the size of your post archives, this can either take an hour or a few weeks. I’d suggest you take it slow and easy. Start with your most recent posts and get them categorized and tagged correctly. Then, as time allows, start going back through your archives starting where you left of. While doing this, remember to properly tag and categorize any new posts, that way you don’t have to go back and do that later.