With the advancements in the world of Search Engine Optimization, content creators and website owners are always on the lookout for effective strategies that will boost their presence online.
One such significant topic that has sparked a heated debate and confusion in the WordPress community is the role of WordPress tags in SEO. Do these tags help improve the SERP rankings, or are they just a hoax?
In this article, we will delve into WordPress tags to see if they help with SEO or if it is time to debunk the myth surrounding their effectiveness.
We will discuss the concept of tags, look at their history in SEO, and provide practical insights and recommendations to help you make informed decisions about using tags effectively in your WordPress website.
If you have ever wondered whether WordPress tags can truly make a notable difference in your SEO strategy, join us on this journey as we separate reality from myths and uncover the truth about the role of WordPress tags in search engine optimization.
WordPress Tags and Their Importance in SEO!
To give you a little background on the topic, WordPress allows you to categorize your content into two main taxonomies: tags and categories.
Categories and tags serve the same purpose; they help organize your website’s content and help your visitors find what they seek. But wait! These two are not identical, and there lies a significant difference between the two.
The categories are hierarchical, whereas the tags are not. Being hierarchical means that on WordPress, you can nest several categories under one category, but tags do not follow such a structure.
So, now that you know the role these two taxonomies play, you must be wondering whether tagging your posts with relevant tags helps enhance the SEO of your website.
A short answer to your question is that using tags is not essential. WordPress tags do not offer any additional SEO benefits. Moreover, if you use them excessively, they will clutter your website. That said, too many tags affect the user experience and hurt overall SEO.
The Popular Belief: WordPress Tags Improve SEO
The concept that WordPress tags significantly increase SEO rankings is based on the idea that search engines, such as Google, would recognize these tags as additional keywords, increasing the likelihood of your content appearing in relevant search results.
Some SEO enthusiasts use too many tags in their articles, believing that this would enhance keyword density and, as a result, lead to higher rankings. However, this practice needs to be corrected.
Using too many tags dilutes the relevance of your content. If you start using unrelated or loosely related tags, it confuses the search engines and your website audience. Search engines may fail to understand the actual keywords you are trying to rank for and thus decrease your chances of ranking on the SERPs.
How WordPress Tags Affect SEO Efforts?
There is no denying the fact that using relevant tags on your WordPress site helps improve the user experience. It helps structure the content and makes it easy for readers to find what they are looking for. However, as discussed, improper use of tags creates a negative user experience and impacts SEO. Conduct a technical SEO Audit of your site to check the impact of tags on your site’s SEO.
Every time a tag is added to any of your WordPress posts, it, by default, creates an archive page. Too many archive pages pointing to the same post will detriment the user experience
Google assumes such pages to be low in value and thin. Some of the other common issues faced with using too many tags are as follows:
Problems with Duplicate Content
Over-tagging your content can lead to duplicate content issues, especially if tags are used too liberally. Search engines may perceive similar content under different tags as duplicate, potentially harming your SEO efforts.
Excessive use of tags can result in keyword stuffing, a practice which is frowned upon by search engines. Keyword stuffing can actually lead to lower search engine rankings and may even trigger penalties.
Limited SEO Value:
Search engines primarily rely on the actual content of your posts and the quality of your backlinks to determine rankings. Tags are relatively low in the hierarchy of SEO factors. You can use tools like Link Whisper to insert backlinks in your post.
WordPress Tags Vs. Categories: Things to Know!
As already stated, the functionality of the two taxonomies is similar. When added, they may either appear below or above your posts.
Categories and tags both help group the content that is similar on your website. But let’s dig a bit deep to understand better.
Imagine categories on your website like chapters in a book. When you write a lot about a particular topic, it’s like having a special chapter for that topic. For example, if you write a cooking book, you can have a particular chapter called “Thai Recipes” to keep all your Thai recipes organized in one place. It makes things easier for your readers to find what they’re looking for!
Furthermore, in one post, you can also add multiple categories. Say, to the posts under “thai recipes,” you can add another category that says “non-vegetarian.”
On the contrary, the tags are more like keywords that best describe what your posts are about. You can think of them like the index items in a book, using which your visitors will easily find their interested posts. For instance, when posting a recipe for pizza, you can have tags like “gluten-free,” “margherita,” “homemade pizza,” and more.
Creating sensible and essential tags for your website might help with SEO. People often think that they work like hashtags on social media, but the same is not true. To help you make better use of tags and ensure great SEO of your website, below we share a few tips.
Tips to Avoid WordPress Tags Issues Related to SEO
Let us find a few tips that will help you keep your tags SEO-friendly and keep them away from decluttering your website.
Add No-Index to Tag Archives
Unless a solid reason backs indexing tag archives, you should not index the tag archives on search engines. If you need clarification about how to do that, install the Yoast SEO plugin. The plugin makes it easy for you to add no-index to all your tag archives.
Keep the option “Show tags in search results?” set as ‘No” to prevent them from getting indexed and appearing on the search engine.
Understand The Difference Between Categories and Tags
Do not create a category or tag with the same term or phrase. Doing so will do more harm than good. For broader categorization, use categories like “Sports,” and for particular topics, use tags like “Cricket.”
Following this system on your website will help ensure that the taxonomies are well-organized.
Use Tags Only When Needed
Though using a category for every WordPress post is mandatory, you are not obligated to use a tag. Moreover, add them only if they make it easy for your users to navigate the posts. Also, too many tags added to the post may make it difficult for your readers to find the actual post for the intended tag.
Careful Use of WordPress Tags
I will not deny the fact that WordPress tags and SEO have some relation with each other. Though tags do not directly help with SEO, it adds to the user experience, which is an essential element of SEO.
I list some of the best WordPress tag practices you can follow to obtain an enriched user experience.
- Before Publishing, Create A Tag Plan: You don’t want to have too many tags on your site, with only two or three posts assigned to one tag. It is highly recommended to use less number of tags and assign your blogs carefully to each tag.
- Research Taxonomies For The WordPress Tag: You should do SEO research and competitor research before creating tags for your website. Researching will give you an idea of the terms that your prospects often use to look for content. This way, your tags will be the ones your users are searching for.
- Consistency Is The Key: The confusion between singular and plural tags is real, and people often need struggle between which ones to use. However, this is completely up to you. You can choose to use either the singular term or the plural one. However, ensure not to use both.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below mentioned are some commonly asked questions
Q. Is Adding a WordPress Tag to My Posts Necessary?
No, there is no mandate to add WordPress tags to your posts. However, many people add them to provide a better website organization and help their users navigate the available content better.
Q. Will Tag Pages Create Problems with SEO?
If the tag pages on your website contain only a few posts and they have thin or duplicate content, they can affect your website’s SEO.
Be careful with using tags.
The Bottom Line
The fact that WordPress tags help improve the SEO of your website is a myth. It is essential to understand that tags are not keywords, so you cannot use them and expect your posts to rank for those phrases.
However, they can be used to provide structure to your website. Please make sure to follow the tips mentioned above to ensure that your tags are SEO-compliant.