Tag is one of the pre-defined taxonomy in WordPress. Users can add tags to their WordPress posts along with categories. However, while a category may cover a broad range of topics, tags are smaller in scope and focused to specific topics. Think of them as keywords used for topics discussed in a particular post.
Difference b/w Tags and Categories
- According to the WordPress definition, categories allow you to broadly group post topics, while you can use tags to describe your post in more detail.
- Another difference between tags and categories in WordPress: you need to add at least one category to a post. If you forget to do so, the post will be added to the default category. That would be “Uncategorized” unless you set a default category in WordPress at Settings > Writing. With tags, you don’t have this issue, as tags are not obligated at all.
- Categories are to categorise into a few groups, whereas tags are more of a free-form kind of labelling. Where it makes sense for something to exist in on, maybe two, categories, but could easily have dozens of tags.
- Categories are best used for broad groupings of topics. For example, if you’re creating a site that reviews media, you might use categories such as Books or Film or TV.
- Tags are much more specific topics that you want to use to associate related content. For example, if you were creating a site that reviews media, you might want to use tags such as science fiction or horror or action adventure.
Importance of WordPress Tags and Categories
WordPress tags and categories play a crucial role in organizing your site’s posts properly. They can help you get better ranking on Google and other leading search engines, boost your page views and offer a great experience to your potential web visitors. While talking about related posts, if your theme supports or you’ve added a plugin, tags can be a wonderful choice to categories related posts.
Tags are meant to describe specific details of your posts. Think of these as your site’s index words. They are the micro-data that you can use to micro-categorize your content.
How Tags are Useful?
When a Tag is added in a post, that post is added to that Tag’s archive. For example, if we add a tag “WordPress SEO” in a post, a new archive WordPress SEO is created. Next time whenever this tag is used in any post, that post is added in this archive. At this point, you’ve got the point that when people search and click on WordPress SEO tag, they’ll find a complete list of all posts on the topic which really useful. Also, Google will understand all the posts in this archive belong together and it helps in higher rankings.
When you add a tag that hasn’t been used before to a post, WordPress automatically creates a tag archive. If you tag very frequently, adding 10-20 tags to each post, each of them unique to each post, you’re creating dozens of archive pages.
Now, you need to keep this in mind, if each of those archive pages only has 1 or 2 posts on them, they’re not very useful. First of all, they won’t help users find other related posts. And, most important, they won’t help Google understand what your site’s about. The more variety of tags, the more complicated the site gets which makes it difficult to rank. In the past, we even saw plenty of sites that had an overload of tag pages get hit by Google’s Panda update.
Important Things to Keep in Mind While Adding Tags
As a general formula, keep these two important tips in mind while adding tags in posts:
- You shouldn’t add too many tags to a post.
- You shouldn’t use tags that don’t relate the current post to any other post on your site.
Best Way to Add Tags in WordPress Posts
Every site has a particular niche, for example, on my site Forestrypeida the nice of the site is about forestry. Now important tags of the site include climate change, environmental studies, wildlife management, forestry resources, etc to name a few. These all are in one way or another related to each other and thus ultimately improve the site structure and ranking in search engines.
When choosing tags you should ask yourself:
- Which other posts does this post relate to?
- Which tag applies best to this group of posts?
- What’s the common denominator?
- Is that the best keyword choice for this topic?
- You shouldn’t make up tags; they should be existing words or phrases. Words or phrases people search for.
For this you need to do the keyword research. Whatever tag you add, it should prove value to the user.
How Many Tags should be Added in a Post?
You can add as many tags as you like to a post. However, the WordPress.com Reader will filter out posts using more than 15 tags and categories (combined) as an anti-spam measure. Five to 15 tags (or categories, or a combination of the two) is a good number to add to each of your posts. The more tags you use, the less likely it is that your post will be selected for inclusion in the topics listings.
Duplicate Tags and Categories
It is another important issue that most of the site owners do is to use duplicate tags and categories. When you have a category “WordPress SEO”, you shouldn’t have a tag “WordPress SEO” too. If you do, which one should Google rank first?
The same goes for single or plural; an article shouldn’t be in the categories “shirt” and “shirts”. A post shouldn’t have the tag “WordPress plugin” and “WordPress plugins”. One of those shouldn’t exist. Pick single or plural and stick with it for all your category and tag terms. But remember that Capital letters do not change a tag. For example, Blogging is the same as blogging.
When you’ve chosen the right tags and tagged your posts nicely, you’re done for a while, but not forever! Your site structure, just as everything else on your site, requires regular maintenance. You might think of new topics to write about or the focus of your business might shift. So make sure to go through your tags regularly, remove redundant ones and check if you’ve added any new topics you’re writing about.
[Video] Tags – Importance and Usage in Blogs Posts (WordPress) [Urdu/Hindi]
In this video, I’ll talk about Tags and its Importance in Posts. Watch complete video for full details.