ARE WORDPRESS TAGS IMPORTANT FOR SEO

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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When you add a tag that hasn’t been used before to a post, WordPress automatically creates a tag archive. If you tag very liberally, adding 10-20 tags to each post, each of them unique to each post, you’re creating dozens of archive pages.

If each of those archive pages only has 1 or 2 posts on them, they’re not very useful. First of all, they won’t help users find other related posts. And, secondly, they won’t help Google understand what your site’s about. In the past, we even saw plenty of sites that had an overload of tag pages get hit by Google’s Panda update.

When you add a tag to a post, that post is added to that tag’s archive. For instance, we have a tag page for keyword research. When we add a “keyword research” tag to this post, it’s added to that archive. That is, of course, very useful: when people click on the keyword research tag, they’ll find a complete overview of all posts on that topic. Also, Google will understand all the posts in this archive belong together.

How to choose your tags.

When you’re planning your blog posts, it’s likely you’ll have some over-arching themes. Those themes are probably your best tags. On yoast.com, for instance, we often write about SEO copywriting and Site structure, but also about WordPress, Schema.org or Google Analytics. These are just some examples of the tags we commonly use for our posts.

When choosing tags you should ask yourself:

When you use tags the wrong way, you can even make it harder for people to navigate your site. This isn’t just bad for users; using tags in the wrong way can be detrimental for your site’s SEO as well. Here, we’ll first dive into what tags do, followed by a good process for choosing them.

There’s another advantage of tagging posts properly. When you’ve written a post and you’re wondering which other posts to link to, you can quickly browse through the tag that new post belongs to. This will help you find posts that you can link to from within your current post, to help visitors find related content even more easily. (If you think that’s too much work, you might want to consider using our Internal linking tool for that)

From this we can conclude:

You can even optimize your tag pages to try to make them rank well too. Our Yoast SEO plugin will help you with this. The content analysis will not only check the content of single blog posts or pages, but it ‘ll also run a check on your tag page. As a result, you’ll get detailed instructions on how to improve the content on it.

Optimize your tag page.

But what should you do?

You shouldn’t make up tags; they should be existing words or phrases. Words or phrases people search for. That’s why we’d advise performing keyword research first. In our Ultimate guide to keyword research, you can read how to go about that, step by step.

How to further optimize tag and category pages we explain in this extensive article on category SEO, so please check that out too. What you should remember is that when you’re doing your keyword research, deciding that something is going to be a tag is a valid choice!

When you’ve chosen the right tags and tagged your posts nicely, you’re done for a while, but not forever! Your site structure, just as everything else on your site, requires regular maintenance. You might think of new topics to write about or the focus of your business might shift. So make sure to go through your tags regularly, remove redundant ones and check if you’ve added any new topics you’re writing about.

What happens when you add a tag?

It can be hard to pick the right tags for a post. But they are important and that’s why we’ll explain how you can choose them. One of the most difficult things to do, as your site becomes bigger, is creating and maintaining a logical site structure. Tags and categories can help create that structure, allowing people to easily find posts that interest them.

When you write your blog post, think about your tags thoroughly. Don’t make it a 2-second afterthought. They’re important for visitors and Google! The good thing about thinking about your tags is that it also immediately helps you find other posts to link to. Good luck with your tagging!

Joost de Valk is the founder and Chief Product Officer of Yoast. He’s an internet entrepreneur, who next to founding Yoast has invested in and advised several startups. His main expertise is open source software development and digital marketing.

On their own, categories and tags are not critical for SEO. However, they can affect other elements that influence your search engine rankings, such as your site’s overall user experience (UX).

For some other strategies to improve your site’s SEO, check out these guides:

Both categories and tags can help you group similar content, but there are some differences you should consider.

Finally, you should avoid duplicating categories and tags (such as using ‘recipes’ for both). This can make it harder for Google to rank your pages as they can compete against each other.

Categories and tags are excellent ways to organize your content. They help users navigate through your website, which can improve their browsing experience. They can also help Google bots assess your website’s structure, so it’s smart to use them wisely.

Do WordPress tags help SEO?

Categories and tags are fundamental features of WordPress. However, understanding the best way to implement them to organize and optimize your posts is a bit more involved than you might think.

WordPress categories and tags are extremely beneficial for organizing your posts. When used wisely, they can also help your SEO efforts, even if it’s just by indirectly boosting the other metrics that Google looks at (such as time on site).

Categories and tags are descriptors or labels for your content. They may appear below or above your post’s content (depending on your theme). In the Block Editor, you can add them in the Document tab of the right sidebar:

For instance, if you’re running a culinary blog, you might have one called ‘Recipes’.

Categories and tags may not be highly critical for search engine optimization (SEO). For instance, your visitors are unlikely to find your posts in search engine results because of your tags ( though it’s possible ). However, they do help you organize your site so that users – and search engine crawlers – can easily navigate it.

Do WordPress tags help SEO? Well, they might , even if not directly, and that’s the topic of this post.

In this article, we’ve discussed whether categories and tags help boost SEO in WordPress. To recap, taxonomies are not a critical ranking factor. However, it’s still smart to follow best practices and use them to keep your website neatly organized.

On the other hand, tags are like keywords that best describe the content of your post. They work as an index at the end of a book so that your readers can find related posts. For instance, if you’re publishing a pizza recipe, your tags might be ‘homemade,’ ‘pizza,’ ‘Margherita,’ and ‘gluten-free’.

For instance, contrary to popular belief, WordPress tags don’t work like hashtags on social media. Overstuffing your page with dozens of keywords won’t do you any favors.

Understanding WordPress categories vs tags.

While categories are obligatory for posts (WordPress will mark posts as ‘Uncategorized’ if you don’t create your own), you don’t have to use any tags at all. Still, it’s smart to use them strategically so that your visitors can navigate your content. This might encourage them to browse related posts and stay on your website longer, which can boost SEO.

You can also assign several categories to the same post if the topics overlap. For example, one post might fall into the ‘Recipes’ and ‘Vegetarian’ categories.

Categories are like chapters in a book. If there is a recurring topic that you often write about, it might make sense to create a category for it:

Users are unlikely to find your page through a tag alone. Plus, cluttering your post with excessive descriptors might make it harder to navigate, ultimately lowering your rankings.

In this article, we’ll discuss the difference between WordPress categories and tags and whether they help SEO. Let’s jump in!

Do you have any questions about categories vs. tags and SEO? Let us know in the comments section below!

Conclusion.

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