If you are using WordPress you will notice the option to create tags for your post. But what are tags, and how are they different from categories?
The confusion over what tags do, and how to use them well, leads to a host of problems that can affect your search engine optimization. For example, you may be using too many tags for a short post, or using tags only once. This leads to issues like duplicate content and really, really ineffective website organization. Here are some things you need to know about using WordPress tags.
How tags work
When you post anything on WordPress, that article is shown on the front page of your website, the category page, and the tag page. Essentially this helps people find your article.
Let’s say you write an article on anti-aging moisturizers for a woman’s website. It will land on the ‘Recent articles’ page plus its general category (beauty). But let’s say you tag it under ‘skincare.’ So if you wrote another article with the same tag (say, eyecreams) then your reader can find these related articles. That’s a good thing.
But it wouldn’t make sense to create a new tag just on anti-aging moisturizers, if you’re never going to write an article like that again. And if you assign, say, 20 tags on that post, that means your article will be posted 20 times on your blog. That’s way too much duplicate content, and can ultimately be confusing or useless to your readers.
To see how how many words fall under each post, click the ‘word cloud’ or ‘tag cloud’ on your blog.
How to create a system for tags
Think of tags as a way of filing posts. List down the keywords you want to push in your website, and be consistent in terms of how you will spell them. If you are having a hard time thinking of keywords, imagine how a ‘tag page’ would look and the kind of articles that would have fallen under them. Foresee how many posts would possibly use that tag. Discard those that are too narrow, and narrow down that are too general to assist in an article search.
The tags should be different from the category names, since there are category pages anyway. Use tags to create an additional way of organizing your posts.