If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with how to use WordPress as a blogging platform, but are you using tags and categories to their full potential?

Why use WordPress categories and tags?

A good tag and category system will do a lot more than make large bigger blogs easier to navigate -they can boost your traffic substantially by giving today’s browsers a new inroad to your content.

Some users report 5% or more of their traffic comes from tag pages. A (virtually) free 5% bump sounds good already, but there’s more. These visitors tend to spend more time on the site, and have an appreciably lower bounce rate. More and better engaged visitors is too good an opportunity to pass up.

How to optimise content using categories

You see, your category-based archives make excellent landing pages for people who are looking for exactly the kind of content you produce – no matter what it is – and this is especially true if your individual blog posts go ‘stale’ after a certain time.

It makes sense to optimise ‘evergreen’ content individually as it will be around long enough to be worth the effort. However, if you do a lot of post about ‘what’s happening in the XXX community in March’ or ‘the best XXX tips for Summer 2017’, you don’t want to put hours and hours of SEO effort into individual posts.

Instead, you want to spend that time on your category pages. These will naturally be jam packed with the kinds of keywords your ideal audience is searching for, and each of those keywords is already organically supported by linked content. Your category page reads as a rich cache of useful information, because it actually is.

Better still, setting up your category pages correctly stops individual posts from competing with each other. Google won’t have to decide which of your 30 blog posts about a topic when someone searches for it. If they are all collected and properly marked up on a category page, it instead channels all that relevance into a single result – which will almost certainly rank higher than any of the posts would individually.

Of course, this begs the question ‘how do I optimise my tags and categories to get these SEO benefits?’. That, as they say, is a whole other blog post. However, I can give you the short, short version: Get the Yoast plugin, and use ‘breadcrumbs’ to link each piece back to the category page.

How do you use WordPress tags and categories? Share your thoughts and knowledge with our community.