Don’t overlook blog categories & tags to improve SEO!
They group similar content together, helping both users & search engines by sorting them.
There’s no clear best practices here, but take it seriously if pursued and don’t overdo them!
Categories tend to be more general and tags more specific. 3-5 for each is more than enough, and there should be a primary category which can facilitate breadcrumb schema for blog posts.
Most platforms can easily add these, especially WordPress and every other major CMS. You can also do nifty tactics like embed a blog feed with relevant categories & tags on a Services or Features hub page to add freshness and more content for users to explore.
They group similar content together, which can help users by sorting content. More importantly for SEO, they associate pages with key topics.
This advantage is clear through an example.
I write a fitness blog. Though visitors with any exercise-related interest may come across it, I’m focused on looking & feeling better in everyday life. Bodybuilding is the main theme.
By including a bodybuilding category, I rank better for all long-tailed searches that add bodybuilding, even when this keyword isn’t within major on-page SEO elements like titles & headers.
There’s plenty of long-tailed volume around countless keywords that append ‘bodybuilding’ to the search query. Over time, Google also tended to rank the whole domain better for queries with that keyword. (This also helps with your analytics!)
This recommendation stands even if you make category & tag pages themselves non-indexable. By default, these pages just list a bunch of posts and add little value, hence represent organic bloat. Many content teams overdo these to just create thin content.
However, when taken seriously by including unique content, these pages can rank for root keywords. However you handle this, associating major keywords via categories & tags across your blog could only help you rank for more queries!