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Categories, Tags and Description2871

BKatt private msg quote post Address this user
Hello Everyone,

More questions from a beginning blogger:

1) Categories
On the right column of the dashboard for my blog is a box for categories. Is more or less relevant category listings best?

Ultimately, I would like to have categories of blogs that viewers can read on various topics. But for now, is there an advantage to having more categories, for example, to draw more attention from search engine bots?


2) Tags
Another box on the right column of my dashboard is for tags. Again, is more relevant tags better than less or no tags?


3) Description
At the bottom of the dashboard is a box to add a description. Should I be filling this out for each post? Does this help search bots find my posts?

Thanks in advance!
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Member gspieler private msg quote post Address this user
@BKatt: Welcome.

While @Belew is more of an expert, here is what I've been doing:

I do have categories, but don't often assign a blog to it.

Tags are good things as it may enhance how people find your blog.

Yes, you want a short description so hopefully the search engines will find you more easily.
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Teacher SusanDay private msg quote post Address this user
@BKatt Great questions.

Each time you add your key words to amything it adds to your post's findability.

I label categories using key words - for example, on my cat blog 'health tips' is labeled 'cat feline health tips.'

Also select your default category as your main focus /keywords and not "uncategorized." Just in case you forget to select one when publishing.

Tags - I'm not an expert but I don't think they help with SEO much. I don't bother with them.

As to the drscription box - I'm not sure what you mean but different themes have different layouts.

Have you checked your permalinks? They are crucial. Set to post name.
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Student TParker private msg quote post Address this user
I would treat categories similar to an encyclopedia topic heading and tags and the subcategories within that topic. What you are referring to as a description may be your meta description. This is used to describe the content of your blog to human readers. So, for a blog about book marketing, I might write "These four steps will make marketing your book a breeze. Find out how you can reach your audience and sell more books in this article."
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Member gspieler private msg quote post Address this user
k@SusanDay @TParker- Doesn't Wordpress create a permalink automatically for a blog post?
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Student TParker private msg quote post Address this user
You can choose from several different preset formats for permalinks and edit the permalink. I use Yoast to edit my links and add a meta-description.
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Member gspieler private msg quote post Address this user
@TParker- Oh, good to know. I have Yoast as well. So, guess it's a good thing.
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Student TParker private msg quote post Address this user
Here's a preview panel using Yoast. For this link, I shortened the title and then added the custom description.


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Teacher Rev private msg quote post Address this user
Categories, sub-categories, tags, titles, meta titles, meta description -- all these things and more are easy to use, and good to use, for their SEO value. The key is to use them correctly. Don't try to manipulate them into something some guru says is the "best" way to get to the top of page one. Write for your audience (clients?) and fine-tune the on-page SEO factors to match what you are writing.

Yoast is a good guide. It also helps with some of the obscure bits (metas) that you cannot access directly from the page editor. Keep them honest and on topic too. Use keywords accordingly. Remember, you can optimize a page for more than one keyword or phrase.


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Teacher SusanDay private msg quote post Address this user
@Rev hits the nail on the head again - write with your audience in mind and be true to them.

I know from experience a large quantity of well written articles on a subject get you much greater results.
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Teacher SusanDay private msg quote post Address this user
Oh, and images - don't forget to tag your images correctly.
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BKatt private msg quote post Address this user
Thank you, everyone, for your insights and best practices. Very helpful!

If I understand your comments correctly, my takeaways are:

1) Write blog content for my target audience. A large quantity of well-written articles is the foundation for drawing an audience.

2) Then fine tune the SEO factors in those articles to match page content. Keep the SEO factors honest and on topic for each post.

3) Write a meta description for each post, for human readers to see at a glance what the post is about.

4) The link should have the post title. Yoast is a tool that can help
- edit links
- with some obscure bits (metas) I can't access directly from the page editor
- add a meta description.

5) Label categories using keywords. I can optimize a page for more than one keyword or phrase. Categories can be the topic headings and tags can be the subcategories.
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Teacher Rev private msg quote post Address this user
@BKatt

You look old enough to remember the GM ad series, "You Got It, Pontiac!" Well, you got it!

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BKatt private msg quote post Address this user
@Rev Thanks for the confirmation... and a shot of 80s memories!
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BKatt private msg quote post Address this user
Hello Everyone,

Regarding categories, do you typically assign several categories to each blog post?

I have been assigning several categories to each post. The result is that when a viewer wants to read posts in specific categories, they will see many of the same posts in related categories. (For example, sales training and sales tips)

So if the primary use of categories is to allow readers to search my published blogs in specific areas, wouldn't seeing the same posts repeated in similar categories negate the value of the categories?
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Top Contributor Steve private msg quote post Address this user
@BKatt haven't you just answered your own question?

I personally have my categories setup as parent and child categories and I assign each post to one category only...
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Teacher Rev private msg quote post Address this user
While categories do play a role in SEO, especially if you set them to be part of the permalink, they are primarily for helping produce a favorable user experience (UX). From this perspective you generally want one category designated for each post. There will be some exceptions to this "rule" but only when a post clearly and distinctly speaks to 2 or more categories. In that case you might first consider breaking the post up into as many single-category posts, though this is not always possible.
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