WordPress allows authors to add tags along with their content when posting a blog or an article. Because tagging seems like you’re labeling a piece of content to some keywords, many believe that tags do affect SEO. However, the sad reality is, they don’t.
WordPress tags only have one purpose: to create ease in navigation for a visitor on your website. They don’t improve your google ranking or optimize your article in any way.
Do WordPress Tags Help SEO?
WordPress Tags don’t affect SEO in any way. However, misuse of SEO may actually create a negative SEO impact for your website.
The reason WordPress allows you to label tags to your posts is just to allow users to have an easy way to find posts related to a tag once they’re on your website. Not before.
If you’re using high ranking keywords as tags on a post, it wouldn’t help Google identify your post faster and help it rank better. It will just help the users on your website to navigate through posts using tags.
For example, if you have a website that shares blogs related to medicine. And you’re using WordPress to post an article related to migraine headaches. What do you do in the tags option?
You can label it with a tag of ‘’headache remedies’’. This wouldn’t act as a keyword and help your post rank better on the keyword Headache Remedies from now on. However, when a user is on your website, it can help them search for this article by searching headache remedies in
the search box or clicking the tag headache remedies if you choose to show it on the website.
What Happens When You Add Tags To A Post In WordPress?
Labeling posts with WordPress tags makes the WordPress website create archives for every new tag that is mentioned. Subsequently, every new post that is published now with the same tag will be added to the archive of that tag.
What does this mean? Let’s use a practical example.
My website that shares blogs on football feature daily analysis on every match that takes place in the English Premier League on the weekend. This means, every week, I upload at least one blog related to every team. With 20 teams in the league, that’s 10 posts per week.
Now, whenever I publish a post that shares a topic with other articles, I can add a tag to it. For example, over the weekend, the analysis blog for Chelsea vs. Man United had content related to a handball penalty controversy. When I upload the post, I’ll tag it with the word ‘’handball controversy’’. The next week, the analysis blog of Man United vs. Leeds also had a handball penalty controversy. I tag this post with the same word again.
Now what WordPress did is it created an archive of the tag “handball controversy”. Now when a user visits my website and searches for “handball controversy” or clicks on the tag #handballcontroversy on my website, the archive containing all the posts tagged with that will be shown to the user.
Note: Tagging the word “handball controversy” to my posts only helped users navigate through the website. They will not help the posts rank better on Google for the keyword “handball controversy” or affect SEO in any way.
How WordPress Tags Can Create A Negative Impact?
Just because WordPress tags don’t help posts with SEO doesn’t mean you should completely ignore them or play around with them however you like. If WordPress tags are misused, it can create a negative impact.
As the primary goal of WordPress tags is to help users search for posts, adding too many tags on a single post can create a bad user experience for the visitor.
WordPress will create archives for every tag that you use, if there are many tags that only relate to a single post, not only would it create duplicate content, but would also frustrate the visitor of your website when so many tags only redirect to a single post.
Even for SEO, using many baseless WordPress tags on a single post can make Google interpret the content to be of low value and the effort of rigorous tagging as a failed attempt to rank better.
WordPress Tags Vs. Categories
So if WordPress tags do not affect the SEO of a post and they merely create archives that connect them to other posts sharing the same tags, how are they any different from categories?
Well, honestly, there isn’t much difference between categories and WordPress Tags. There are only 2 things that distinguish them.
Firstly, categories can be further categorized as parent categories and their subcategories.
Second, categories are much broader than tags. Tags label the specifics of a post. Categories label the broad category a post falls in.
Using the practical example of running a blogging website of football match analysis, I can create parent categories named Matchweek 3, Matchweek 4, etc. subcategories named, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, etc. I can also create categories for each club that show every post related to them. These will be the broad labels for posts.
On the other hand, my tags would be more specific. They would point out narrow common details of posts such as #VAR, for every post that sheds light on the topic of VAR, #Penalties, for every post that had penalties in them, or #stadiumriots, for every post that highlighted a stadium riot that took place in them.
The Best Way To Add Tags On WordPress?
The best way for WordPress Tagging would make you first understand the difference between categories and tags, and then ask yourself which are the broad labels you want to add as categories and subcategories on the website, and then which are the common specifics that posts share that could be labeled with WordPress tags.
Overall, your purpose would only be to create an easy way for a visitor to navigate around the website. The easier the navigation is, the more time a visitor is likely to spend time on your website.
And remember, you don’t need WordPress tags. Not using WordPress tags wouldn’t hinder your content in any way. If you think using tags is just overcomplicating the UI of your website, ignore them.
Remember, the primary purpose is to create a good user navigation experience for a visitor.
Are There Any Best Tags For WordPress?
As mentioned above, there aren’t any best tags for WordPress because tags don’t help you rank better or affect your content’s SEO.
Tagging is a subjective exercise based entirely on the structure of your website and the tags you use should reflect the labels your post falls in just to help a visitor on your website easily search for it using the relevant tag.
How To Help Your Post Rank Better And Improve SEO?
Well, if WordPress tags don’t help, what should you do to make your content be optimized efficiently and assist them in ranking better on Google?
Well, that’s a question that can’t have a summarized answer. Every day, SEO follows changes and Google uses different approaches to help articles rank better. However, there are some crucial pointers that are universally agreed upon to help websites rank better on Google.
Want better SEO ranking? Focus on keywords.
Optimizing keywords help a post rank better than any other factor there is. Do thorough research on google keywords and their competition before choosing a focus keyword. Add relevantly and highly searched secondary keywords.
This doesn’t mean you can just push all the high ranking keywords in an article and expect it to rank well. The keywords need to be naturally used and the content should be relevant to them and helpful to the search query of a visitor.
Add An SEO WordPress PlugIn
The most common Worpress Plugin for SEO is Yoast.
Yoast SEO helps you analyze your content before publishing it. It tells you the guidelines using which you can rank better on Google and compares your posts with them. For example, keeping the focus keyword density between 1-2.
For beginners, it is a great tool to get used to the basic requirements of SEO on what key factors your content should have as a bare minimum.
Lastly, backlinking is also known to be one of the most important factors in helping posts rank better on Google.
As a basic summary, whenever Google sees your article backlinked on another website, it recognizes it as validation that your post does feature valuable content. The more backlinks your article gets, the more Google will trust your content to be good enough to be ranked high.
So what did you learn?
Firstly, WordPress tags won’t help you rank better on Google or improve SEO. Use them just to fulfill their primary purpose of helping users navigate easily on your website.
Second, if you do want your content to rank better on Google, you need to focus on your keywords, get more and more backlinks, and use tools like Yoast WordPress Plugin to assist you in creating better posts.