Tutorial Series: WordPress for Beginners – Categories and Tags and Hyperlinks, Oh MY!

If you are just joining us in this series, you may want to check out our introductory post on this Beginner’s WordPress tutorial series and our previous video tutorial on creating and publishing a WordPress post.

This post will be just a brief overview of categories, tags and hyperlinks…

Categories vs Tags

Both categories and tags refer to the content your post has.  Categories are usually more general than tags, and tags are more specific to your content.  In my video below, I used an arbitrary example of a series of posts written about Southern California theme parks.  A possible category could be “theme park,” whereas a tag on one of those posts could be the name of the actual theme park itself (such as DisneyLand) or perhaps even the tourist area in which it is found.  That being said, it is your blog, so feel free to do it however you’d like.  As you may have noticed, I have 147 categories, so I really like categories and probably get more specific than most people (did I mention how I love organization?).

Is it really necessary to use categories and tags?

The short answer is, well, no.  However, it’s been said that tags help with search engine optimization.  I can’t truly verify that statement, but it doesn’t hurt to try to see if using good tags can affect your own SEO value. I personally think it’s important to use categories and tags to some extent because it’s how people can easily navigate through your site to find your previous content.  And you want them to be able to find it, right?  Just don’t go overboard using them or assigning them to each post – perhaps limit yourself to 10 total.

 

Hyperlinks

Linking is good.  Too much linking is not.  In my opinion, it can look too cluttered (I know I’m oftentimes at fault on linking too much).

Internal vs External Links

Internal linking just means linking to your own previous content on your website or blog.  External linking is when you link to something other than your own website or blog.

Internal linking is great to keep readers on your blog longer, increasing your site’s “stickiness”, increasing the number of pageviews and so forth.  So be sure to do so when you can.

Anchor Text

When choosing words to hyperlink, make sure to give it some thought.  Good, strong anchor text will drive more traffic to that page you linked, called a “landing page,” (Note: It does not drive traffic to the post on which you are using the link), and it is what search engines use to rank that same page.  (Anchor text just refers to the actual words or text you use to link – an not the url).

How do you decide what’s a strong anchor text?

You want to increase your own SEO value (that is, increase your traffic that comes from search engines), right?  Then you need to make sure you use good, strong, defining anchor text to link internally to your website.  Though you can’t help this, hopefully, other sites linking into your website are also using a good choice of anchor text when they link to your site, as this is of key importance.

To tell you the truth, there are times I still struggle with what is a good anchor text, so I’m not the qualified person to advise you.  BUT, I can tell you that “read here”, “here” and words of that nature are not of good SEO value.  Avoid using them when you can.  If you do a quick search on Google, you will find more than enough info on SEO optimization and good anchor text.  there’s so much information on it, that it makes my head hurt!

Watch this video on how to use the hyperlink functionality in your posts or pages:

 

Stay tuned for our next post in the WordPress for Beginners series, as I will be discussing pages, drop down menus and widgets.
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