Do you know what the tags are for on your WordPress website? Are you using them well?

A common thing when someone starts a blog without having a lot of idea, is getting involved in creating labels for each new element.

And no, it’s not a good idea!

What are WordPress tags for?

The use of tags in WordPress is mainly for “tagging”.  It is about creating content groupings that have particularities in common.

How to add tags to WordPress

If you want to add tags to an element in WordPress, such as blog posts, you have to go to the right panel. There you will find a field to add them, separated by commas. If they already exist, they will appear in a dropdown as you type.

For example, if you use Gutenberg:

You find the labels section in the right bar of Gutenberg.

Some things you should know about tags in WordPress

The thing that must not be done

❌ Tags on a website are NOT used to “give more visibility to content” like social media hashtags.
❌ They are NOT used to put all the keywords you can think of.
❌ They do NOT serve (in principle) to better position. And if you misuse them, it can backfire.
❌ If you have labels with only 1 or 2 entries only, and the complete entry is also shown, you may have cannibalization problems (your website competes against itself in Google).

How to use the labels

Some things to keep in mind when using labels:

  • The web tags are used to group content in addition to the categories.
  • You can assign tags to different blog content, not just posts. Also to projects, events or other «custom types» that your theme or your plugins may have.
  • You should only create labels when you have a group of 3 or more elements that you want to group.
  • They serve you for example to create links to these groups of entries or elements within your website.
  • If you want to optimize them to rank on Google, it is a good idea to add SEO text, title and meta-description to them.
  • The tags are good that they are keywords that have searches.

Difference between Categories and Tags

Something that usually generates a lot of confusion is what difference there is between categories and labels.

  • Categories in WordPress: Let’s say the categories would be the main themes of your website or your blog. It would be like the index of your website, and it supports a hierarchical organization.
  • WordPress tags: The labels, as we have already said, serve to indicate particularities of the entry or element, and allow grouping content. And they are not hierarchical.

Example of using tags VS categories in WordPress

The topics in this blog are 6: Web Design, Graphic Design, Social Networks, SEO, Blogs and E-Mail marketing. And this is what goes in the categories of the entries.

Example of blog categories

As I explain in the Guide to start creating your website, 6 is a good number. The more concrete it is, the better. Then there is always an additional category, of type “Various” or “General” where to put what does not end up fitting into any topic, just in case.

Example of blog tags

And then I have for example tags like WordPress Plugins, or Tools, that allow me to group elements that can be in different categories. As an example, there are tools for web design, social media, or web design.

Do I need to use WordPress tags?

If you are not completely clear on how to use them … It is better not to use them and focus on a good category structure. Or even de-index them directly.

Were you also misusing your blog tags?

Tell me in the comments.

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