Pay attention to this for better SEO: Are you a WordPress User – new or old? I will assume you are. Do you use tags? I know a lot of people do but do you know When and When Not To Tag Your Posts On WordPress?
I know this might seem innocent enough. You think I know I will use this tag, that tag anything you can think of that relates to your content but next time seriously STOP. Please correct me if I am wrong but I think this is a bad idea. Your research should bring you to a similar conclusion.
That every tag creates its own page on your website. These pages are indexed as redundant pages that negatively impact SEO. So you don’t want to create pages just for the sake of it. You also DO NOT want to create tags with the same name as your posts.
For instance, if I created a tag for “When and When Not To Tag Your Posts On WordPress” the same as the post title this would be silly as it would confuse google and possibly rank for the tag page rather than my actual post.
This will be my first lesson today but seriously…
When Not To Tag Your Posts On WordPress
So do not create tags that are identical to the titles of your posts. Do not even use keywords within your post titles for tags.
Make sure you are not just creating tags for just one post and do not use them without a strategy in mind.
Also, as you build your website out you will want to start using categories. Be careful with this as well. Only use categories that are absolutely necessary. Each time you create a category this will create a page on your website.
So my categories are (just in case you are curious);
I think that for me is a good description of everything. This I think is good enough and I mention categories because another thing you don’t want to do is create tags with the same name as categories. These need to be standalone pages that are there to create a space where users can find different kinds of posts.
Once you have your categories all set up you might want to think about using tags. For example, on here I have recently done a post about Copywriting. For me, that would fall under Blogging Tips but Copywriting I think will be something I will cover in a few posts. That is worthy of a tag but whilst there is only one post about this in the meantime I should put this idea on hold.
This is because I want the new post to rank, not the tag. The tag is something I can add later after I’ve done a few related posts. Which, makes sense right. It’s kind of like a filing cabinet to organise your documents.
These are exactly what tags are like (I think). Each drawer is a category and each separator is a tag.
WordPress Tags are like this but just WAY more complex. I hope this makes sense.
According to Hostinger.co.uk the difference between tags and categories they are for both broad and specific terms.
So When To Tag Your WordPress Posts
I would say when you have 2 or more posts that are related by something else other than the category. So for example, if you did more than one product review for a company.
For example, you review 2 different Samsung Phones you could tag the posts as Samsung Reviews. Providing you didn’t already have this already as a category. Or If you reviewed 3 different weight loss supplements. Assuming you already had a category for how to lose weight you could tag them as weight loss supplements.
I mean you could create a subcategory for sure instead, but as long as you understand that they function in pretty much the same way. You could even go further “weight loss supplements I recommend” or “weight loss supplements I don’t recommend”. It is all about using a strategy and really about building a hierarchy.
If you have at least 2 posts that would be good to tag together then do it. Just don’t write one post and think that tag will do for the future or even tagging just because it feels relevant. Think of Tags as the same as subcategories that should only be used to create a page that links related posts together.
This Was My Mistake (I Think)
I say think because who knows how these computer algorithms really work but I didn’t learn this till too late. My other website has over 200 tags at the moment for this exact reason. This is my job for the month trying to tidy this up and “believe you me” I am not looking forward to it.
For a whole year, I must have just tagged any post I could with any ideas I could think of. I actually blame Franklin Hatchett for this because he did a video about Youtube SEO. In this, he showed a hack with VidIQ how to add a huge list of keywords as tags. I wish I could find it actually because I am looking to give Youtube a go soon but anyway.
This method I used at least to some degree when I started on Blogger.com and when I started with WordPress this habit followed me. I thought that this would be the perfect way to plug my posts full of extra keywords. I mean using tags to add in keywords is a good idea but I repeat “use a strategy”.
I’m sure even Franklin Hatchett may have something to say about keyword stuffing your tags. It might work for Youtube, even Blogger with its labels MAYBE but with WordPress I think you need to be a bit more sensible.
The other thing I stopped displaying related tags in my post because of this. It was just a bit of an eyesore 20+ tags being shown in my post but if you only have say 4-5 tags it really is better to keep them there I think.
Use Keywords For Tags But Strategically
Yes, so I would say either use tags very sparingly or not at all. I know some more experienced marketers such as Kyle Louden and Jay Neil at Wealthy Affiliate don’t use tags. I’ve not actually put this idea into practice but I really do wonder.
Personally, I like to believe there is a kind of art to using tags. Yes, as I said above they should only be used as “kind of” subcategories for related posts but not only this you can also use keywords for tags.
For example, instead of using “say” trampolining as a tag. How about instead going with “How To Use a Trampoline”.
Of course, as long you haven’t used this for the title of a blog post already and are not intending to but maybe use “Trampolining for Beginners”. If you have more than one post of relevant content then go for it.
I hope this makes sense. Maybe leave tagging till after you’ve finished every 25-50 posts.
Tools That Might Be Useful
If you are in the same kind of pickle as me on my other website with all my unwanted tags I do have a recommendation.
You might have this already but what I mean is a plugin that can be used to set up redirects.
I know there are some stand-alone plugins you can get but don’t bother with those. Either go with Yoast SEO Premium or RankMath SEO. I use personally Yoast Premium (I got it from Fiverr) but from what I hear Rankmath is free and it is a better tool. I’ve not used it but definitely look into using this instead of your existing SEO plugin.
The fact it is both a functional SEO analyzer plugin and it can be used to set up redirects is enough to convince me. Also, I would recommend Rankmath because it is very light compared to Yoast SEO and may even speed up your site.
So there is that, and another tool that I think might be worth a mention is WP Tag Machine. I will have to write a separate review for this I think but it does seem kind of interesting.
This actually scans your content all at once, and auto-generates tag suggestions. My assumption is that it is a simple way to add tags as well without opening and closing several posts at a time.
The lady who recommended this to me said that she read WP Tag Machine recommends 20 tags for each post lol
I don’t know what to think about this. It kind of goes against everything I’ve been led to believe but “hey” I will do my research and see what I can find out in my upcoming review.
In Conclusion – When + When NOT To Tag Your Posts on WordPress
My final advice will pretty much be to summarise everything I’ve said above.
- Categories and tags are for specific and broad terms.
- Use tags to link together related content
- Only tag posts unless it is beneficial to your SEO
- Do not create tags with the same name as your post titles or categories.
- Go through a review process every 25-50 posts to link together related content
- Use SEO keywords as tags rather than just generic terms.
- Use an SEO plugin with 301 redirects for deleting unwanted tags.
Also, let me know what you think about all of the above. Is there anything I’ve missed?
Please let me know in the comments section.
Many thanks and hope to see you all again soon
To your success;
Alex B. Chivers
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