To understand WordPress and use it to the best effect, it’s important to master the basics, particularly to know the difference between categories and tags, which are often confusing. Let’s find out what they are!
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Categories VS Tags
Categories and tags: improve the structure and navigation of your site
Categories and tags are managed from the “Articles” entry in the back office of a WordPress site. They can be used to create a menu structure and to identify, classify and order articles. However, the first specificity of categories is that they can be hierarchical. And that’s not the only difference!
Categories are mainly used to create a basic structure from the site’s articles. They allow you to create a tree structure based on categories, sub-categories, and so on, according to the administrator’s needs. Although they are not compulsory, they are strongly recommended.
They should be thought out in advance and defined with the website’s end user in mind, who often imagines that a category corresponds to a section. Be careful, however, not to include the same article in several categories at the risk of abusing duplicate content. This is a form of duplication that can be detrimental to the indexing of website content by search engines.
Categories can also give the impression of a vertical classification of the information on the website through a pyramid system of conceptualization.
Tags, also known as labels, are like keywords. They allow you to better define an article in the same way as metadata. However, they have different functions; there’s no point in going overboard with the number of tags for the same article!
Tags are often used to allow secondary navigation, another way of accessing articles on a site without going through the classic menu often built around categories. Efficient tag management also makes it possible to highlight similarities between several articles and use them to carry out thematic searches. They offer the possibility of cross-reading between different categories.
Tags can be used to classify content in a more cross-disciplinary way. They allow you to categorize articles without prioritizing them. They are often more numerous than categories, making discovering website content more fun.
An effective combination for SEO
While categories and tags are important for SEO, combining them in the same article can be even more beneficial. Above all, favoring tags likely to bring in additional traffic and not simply segment content is important. Aided by high-quality copywriting, combining categories and tags will provide a reciprocal link and a better user experience.
Ultimately, the right choice of categories and tags will make it easier for visitors to navigate your site hierarchically with categories and sub-categories and transversally with tags.