In this post, we are talking about the famous Tags that are frequently used in any blog made in WordPress. Many people mistakenly use these tags on their blog as keywords and that is why I want to clarify how to do it correctly.
It may seem like something too trivial to report on an SEO blog, but you’d be surprised how many people find this element difficult. Maybe you are one of them without knowing it…
What are tags and what are they for?
Tags are a tool used in WordPress to group posts within a blog. The objective is that a specific content , of a specific theme , is easier for the user to find among all the existing articles. Therefore, tags allow you to group specific topics and associate content that is related to each other.
Let’s see this with a very simple example, to understand it better. Let’s imagine that a user is reading an entry on “ how to make a paella ” in a recipe blog. Perhaps the user wants to find out how paella is made, but perhaps what they are interested in are recipes with rice .
If we have a tag that groups “recipes with rice” , it will be easier to navigate from an entry on “how to make a paella” to another on “how to make a black rice”. It seems like a nonsense example, but I think that with this the concept is well understood.
What are they for?
To organize and relate contents facilitating navigation.
Difference Between Tags and Categories
Now you may think: Ok, but what is the difference between the tags and the categories of a blog?
Well, actually they have the same objective, that of classifying content, but we could say that the tags are more specific, while the categories group more general, broader topics.
A good way to know when to use each one is to think about the categories as a way of structuring and prioritizing the content. The tags are rather optional, and can group content from different categories.
More questions that may arise…
Is there a difference between upper and lower case?
No, using the “rice” tag is the same as placing “Rice” so don’t go crazy putting tags in both upper and lower case.
Is there a tag limit?
There isn’t, but please don’t use more than 3, whatever they say. Seeing blog posts and social media profiles full of tags or hashtags is something that makes me very nervous. People use them indiscriminately (of course, they are free!) and 99% of the time they do not contribute anything.
Advantages of using tags
The main one is to help the user find related content and increase page views and stay on your website.
Disadvantages of using tags
You will probably fall into generating duplicate content as we see below. But something important that not everyone talks about is that the server consumes a lot of resources to access the related content through tags.
The false myth about tags and web positioning
There is a false myth about the use of tags to position content, whereby tags are confused with keywords. I’ll make it clear for you quickly:
Tags are not an SEO technique
Do not confuse tags with meta keywords, that metadata tag that was included years ago in the source code of the pages of a website for positioning. Well, forget about this because it is no longer used by search engines to establish rankings.
Duplicate content due to misuse of tags
Tags are a duplicate content trap that everyone falls into, We’ll explain. Suppose we want to position the word “web design” (to take an easy one), I write an entry on this topic and I decide to create tags with this word (one for each search term that I intend to cover): “web design”, “design web wordpress”, “web design Indore”…etc. As many as you want! Totally, they are free…
Now, we assign them to my input to position it. What would I get? Well web addresses like:
The last one, that we have given you would be the one that corresponds to the article, intelligently created to position. If you notice, this means 4 different web addresses for the same content.
Each tag URL has the goal of displaying all the posts associated with it , and since I only have one post about web design, We are always displaying the same one (in each of the tags). So I have 4 different ways to access the same content = duplicate content.
And well, you already know that you should avoid duplicate content at all costs, right?
The main problem is not that Google is going to penalize you and remove you from the rankings for life. The real problem is that search bots don’t know what the most relevant content is, so they prioritize what they consider. Total, that is not going to correctly invest the crawl budget for your page and can leave aside important pages.
Use tags wisely and sparingly. And if you still have doubts about the Tags, you can read the WordPress documentation, where it talks about the comparison “ Website tags vs Categories”.
If you have any questions, We’ll wait for you in the comments.