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example of a graffiti tag. Nothing to do with a tag on a websiteTags are not signatures. Well… they may be in graffiti, but website tags are navigation aids. Keywords, often displayed on the right of a blog post.

Ever click on one? Probably not, as most tags are poorly used…

Difference between Categories and Tags

Both tags and categories are used to help visitors find other posts and work in the same way but have slightly different uses.

  • “Categories” are like a table of contents
  • “Tags” are like an index of words

Picking the right Tag or Category Names

Tags are counter-productive if they are not thought through carefully.

  • Good tags help visitors navigate to related posts
  • Poor tags frustrate visitors and encourage them to leave your site

Less Important reasons to use Tags

If you are only using tags to help you get to the top of Google, that’s not a good enough reason.

  • Helps Google understand relevance of content
  • The SEO benefits of tags is often vastly exaggerated

Which sites should use Tags?

Provide too many navigation methods and you will just confuse your visitor.

For a blog with less than 20 posts an archive list should be sufficient. For sites with more posts, help the visitor, by grouping down posts further:

  1. 20-50 pages & posts: Categorise to help find similar content
  2. 50-100 pages and blog posts: also add tags to ‘micro-categorise’
  3. 100+ pages and blog posts: For sites this big, you also need a search box as a back-up.

Good Category and Tagging Practise

  • Every month, set aside a few minutes to audit and edit each category and tag
  • Remove underused categories or tags. They are not relevant to your blog
  • Remove overused categories or tags. They offer no value for navigation as they are too general


You are now an expert tagger.

Permission to laugh at anyone who puts 10 tags on one post.

Happy tagging!