What Are WordPress Tags and How to Use Them Correctly
WordPress tags provides users with an easy way to group posts by category.
Tags are located under a post or in the sidebar of WordPress. When a visitor clicks on a particular tag, WordPress will open an archive page for all posts and custom post types that have the same tags.
Tags have a vital role in organizing content. They can have an impact on your user experience and SEO, so you need to be mindful of whether you use them or not. Remember: if you’re using tags, then they are useful for your users and search engines.
In this blog post, you will learn what tags are, how can they help your website’s SEO, and some extra tips on getting the most out of them.
WordPress Categories vs Tags
WordPress has two major terms that classify your posts: categories and tags. Simply speaking, they classify your posts into topics.
1. Broad vs Specific
With categories and tags, you can categorize your blog posts. Categories are broader topics while tags are more specific details in a post.
When it comes to food blog topics, you’ll have a variety of different categories that you can choose from. You might have Culinary Trip, Recipes, Tips and Food News as the main topics people will find when searching for your blog.
This is why you better check which categories your article easily fits into. However, if you have an article titled “The Most Delicious Beef Wellington Recipe”, then it will be put in the Recipes category. You can use beef, Gordon Ramsay, pastry etc. as tags for this article.
It’s not advisable use a name, like Gordon Ramsay’s for your category. Unlikely it would cover a broad topic of your blog posts, which is why it should stay as a tag, not a category.
2. Necessary vs Optional
In the category vs. tag taxonomy, one difference is how mandatory you find them to be. Categories are necessary while tags are optional.
WordPress automatically assigns a category to a post; it will be listed under the Categorized category if none is assigned.
3. Parent-child Relationship vs Standalone Entity
Categories and tags exist on different hierarchies. This means that you can put child categories or subcategories to the parent category without splitting them.
Under the Recipes category, you can add more subcategories such as Appetizers, Main Courses, Desserts and Diet Food Plans.
Look for the Diet food plan collection to find options that include Low Carbs Food, Low Sugar Food, and Low Fat Food.
Though categories and tags are related, they’re not at the same level. Any tag you add is a standalone that has no inherent parent-child relationship.
The custom permalink structure is a unique URL that produces a different base URL depending on which category or tag you choose. It’s important to note that this change only affects the kinds of URLs shown by your backlinks, and not the content itself.
These two taxonomies serve a different purpose in your posts. A post may have one or two categories, and it may use several tags.
How to Add Tags in WordPress
Adding tags to your post is easy. However, remember that only posts can have tags and not users. If you want to add a tag to a user, you’ll need to promote them first.
There are two different ways to add tags in WordPress. The first is to add them for new blog posts, which is what you’ll do by following these steps below.
- From your admin dashboard, go to Posts -> Add New
- On the right side of your visual editor, find the tags box.
- Type in the tags you want to add. Each different tag must be separated by a comma.
Adding tags to old posts is also helpful for SEO purposes because it also helps you to create a tag slug.
- From your admin dashboard, go to Posts -> Tags.
- Add a new tag on a name form.
- Add the slug for your tag.
How to Display Tag Cloud in WordPress
Tags not only help WordPress organize your posts but also make your site more usable and accessible. This makes it easier for users to find what they need and be able to use your site effectively.
A tag cloud widget is an interactive piece of digital content that enables users to quickly pull up a brief summary of all tagged content.
Our tag cloud widget makes it easy for visitors to find the tags they’re most interested in. With a 1-click action, they can view your tags and decide what will interest them most!
Have you found it difficult to standout in your niche? Switch up your site design with a tag cloud. It lures some important information from the visitors and makes it easy to find interesting topics that can’t be found on other sites.
You can also use a larger font size when using popular tags to increase your visibility on the social platform.
Follow these simple steps to add the tag cloud widget:
- From your admin dashboard, go to Appearance -> Widgets
- Find Tag Cloud widget and drag it to the widget area where you want to display it. Usually, it is located on the sidebar.
- Give it a title and how many tags you want to include in the cloud. The maximum number is 75.
The process for adding a tag cloud in WordPress 5.9 is a bit different, as this version uses a block editor across the entire site:
- Go to Appearance -> Editor to open the site editor.
- Hover over the area where you want to add the tag cloud, then click the Plus (+) icon to add a new block.
- Search for tag cloud and click on the block to add it to the page.
- The tag cloud will appear on the page.
- To modify it, open the block settings by clicking on the tag cloud block and clicking the Settings icon at the top-right corner of the screen.
Toggle the Show Post Counts option to display the post’s number of tags, and use the Number of Tags slider on the left to set how many tags should appear in your blog post.
Sometimes, because you want to exclude a tag from your tag cloud regardless of its popularity, you may need to follow the instructions below.
- Go to Posts -> Tags. Choose the tag you want to exclude.
- Now, take a closer look to your browser’s address bar and find the Tag ID. It is a number following tag_ID=.
- Copy the tag ID and go back to Customizer -> Widgets.
- Click on the tag cloud widget settings and open its settings.
- Paste the tag ID into the Exclude box.
- Click Save button to finish the process.
WordPress Tags and SEO
WordPress tags can actually make a difference in your SEO. For example, you can specify the best keyword phrase for each page or post as well as provide a textual description of an article’s purpose. If you do it correctly, tags will escalate your SEO rank.
It’s important to keep in mind that lots of tags could be harmful to your SEO.
WordPress is the best CMS for SEO because it starts off with built-in SEO features as a one-stop shop for search engines.
You don’t need to worry about your posts, pages, categories, and tags being indexed. They’re automatically optimized for search engines because of their predetermined features.
Unfortunately, this technique won’t always achieve optimal results.
Sometimes, people create the same name for a category and a tag. This causes confusion in search engine results because the two are identical. Therefore it’s important to make sure your category name is not the same as or similar to your tags so search engines can easily differentiate between them.
Duplicate tags may happen when you use singular or plural nouns. “Recipes” or “Recipes” are the most common examples, but similar problems can occur if you use “Tutorial,” “Tutorials,” and “You’re Welcome Tutorial.” Choose one tag, and consistently use it for your posts.
A tag page has nothing unique to it on its own. What would make a search engine want to crawl through a tag page is the text from the individual post pages. If a search engine comes across a tag page, it will jump over to the individual post pages instead.
Over time, a WordPress blog may end up with a lot of tags. That’s no problem! Just create a tag page to help users navigate your website more easily and you’ll benefit from increased SEO.
Noindex WordPress Tag Archive Pages
The way to get around tag pages and SEO problems is by using the noindex WordPress tag. By doing this, you tell search engines to ignore them while crawling data.
The Yoast SEO plugin is a great way to ensure that your search engine listings are in check. Follow the steps below to noindex WordPress tag pages:
- Click on Search Appearance
- Choose Taxonomies tab
- Find Tags section
- Under Show Tags in search results select no
- Click the Save button to finish it.
WordPress tags are an incredibly useful way to manage your content. They can help your readers to find their preferred topics in a quick and fuss-free way, which increases your overall user experience. However, some small faults in using tags will harm your SEO. Use the provided tips to maximize tags usability without putting a negative effect on SEO.