Tags & Categories -- What are They and Do You Need Both?

29 Sep 2017

Your Wix blog provides the option for both tags and categories to help boost the search engine optimization (SEO) of your blog posts. Both tags and categories function like keywords, with tags being more fine tuned or specific than categories.

 

In the image above you see that I use both categories and tags in this website's blog. If you blog a lot, this form of organizing your writing can be helpful to the reader. Topics are easier to find, and the displays let the reader see the range of your knowledge.

 

As a designer, I have used one or the other, or both on client websites, depending on how prolific they are a bloggers. On my own websites, I've used various combinations, or none at all -- depending on how attentive I am to that site's blog.

 

You don't necessarily need both tags and categories. If your blog is not a primary marketing method for you, you might not really need either. 

 

 

Tags

 

Tags are automatically displayed at the bottom of each post. And if you want a tag cloud -- the name for the set of tags you see displayed in the image above -- that can be added. It's best to let a designer do that for you because as the cloud expands when you name more tags, it could overrun the space where it is originally placed, and screw up the design.

 

You may have heard of a concept called long-tail keywords. An example of that might be this:  long-tail keyword concept for SEO. It's a key phrase, really. These might be useful when used correctly elsewhere, but I wouldn't use them in a tag cloud. Rule thumb - limit your tags to 2-3 words each, max!

 

You can create your list of tags in the blog post editor, on the right sidebar. By default, the tool is open and ready for you to type in your tags, one at a time. I usually add mine with each post rather than all at once.

 

 

After you've added a tag to any post, when you want to assign it to another post, just start typing the word into the tag field as if it is a new word. Wix will then find and show the tag already in your list, but you will need to click on it to connect it to the new blog post.

 

BTW, don't confuse blog tags with alt tags for your photos. Those aren't displayed in the tag cloud (unless you just happen to use the same words). And they are installed in a completely different place (I'll show you that at the end of this post).

 

 

Categories

 

In that same tool on the right sidebar you can see the word Categories next to the word Tags. To access your Categories list, click on that word. This will open your pre-existing list if your designer has created one for you, or it will give you a link marked New Category where you can type in a topic label yourself.

 

When you have a pre-existing list, just click the category you want to assign to the blog.  Make sure the check box shows the check. When you save the blog post draft, or publish the post, the category will be added above the title of the post as a button. 

 

You can change the color and appearance of this category button if you'd like, although your designer has likely already styled it in the best, least obtrusive way. Ask me to change your button before we're done with your project if you'd like to see a different version.

 

Adding a category to your list in the sidebar will also add it to the Categories list displayed for the reader elsewhere on your blog page. If your displayed list is more than about 6 topics, your designer may have configured it differently so that new topics have to be manually added. 

 

 

Alt Tags

 

Alt tags -- or as Wix calls them, alternative text -- are the main way to optimize images. Google can't interpret photos, and can't read any wording that may be embedded in a picture.  But the settings for images provides the place for adding the keywords that Google can see.

 

When you add an image to a blog post, the location for typing in your alt tag is just under above the image itself, as part of the tool bar for the photo. Add keywords that are meaningful for that post and make sense to humans (versus computers). In this example, my main keyword is Wix, and secondary keywords are tech support, and my name. 

 

If all of this feels too intimidating or confusing, you might be interested in my BlogMastering service. You write, and I'll install and do all the formatting, image insertion, alt tags, categories and tags, and a short promotion of the blog on your main social media page (usually Facebook or LinkedIn). 

 

 

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It's possible this will come as a surprise to you -- it certainly has snuck on me that I'm well past retirement age. Over the last year or so, my heart has been pulled in other directions, and while I still love the creative aspects of website design, I want to use my time making a life rather than devoting my energies to making a living. So I plan to travel, attend writers' retreats, work on learning to take good iPhone photos, and just be open to where my spirit guides take me. I have also stepped back from my esoteric work for 2020, and who knows what the future holds for that.

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