WordPress Tags For SEO: Important or Not?

WordPress tags, we’ve all seen them, but do we use them? WordPress tags for SEO are like alt tags, the debate is wide open about their importance and whether or not they actually have an impact on your rankings. 

In my opinion, WordPress tags don’t really offer any substantial SEO benefit and as a result, I don’t use them that often. 

But, in this guide, I want to take a deeper look at WordPress tags for SEO to determine whether or not my hunch is correct. 

Do WordPress Tags Help SEO?

If you look at a new WordPress post as you’re publishing it, this is likely the screen you’ll see (or something similar). 

wordpress tags

Down in the right corner are your tags. The main purpose of these are to help with content organization by allowing you to tag and classify pieces of content based on certain topics. 

For example, if you ran a digital marketing website, you may have tags for some of the following categories:

  • SEO
  • Content Marketing
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Ecommerce
  • …and more

Some might compare WordPress tags to social media hashtags and they wouldn’t be that far off. It’s important that you don’t stuff a page with tags. 

It’s also important that you don’t reuse the same tags too many times because it can lead to keyword cannibalization

Again, I am extremely skeptical about all of this because I don’t think that tags make that much of a difference but I do think they have a role in backend content organization for Google’s crawlers

WordPress Tags vs Categories

Now categories on the other hand, is where I believe you can make a significant impact on your SEO. 

wordpress categories

While we don’t have a ton of categories for Link Whisper, that doesn’t mean that you can’t. This is because the topics we cover are all within the same scope. 

choosing a category

Above is a great example of how to use categories correctly. This is a fishing website and you can see that it’s broken down based on the types of information you would write an article about. 

This helps keep the content organized on the site for users but also breaks everything down into a specific category to help search engines understand what the article is about. 

So, if you write an article about bass fishing tips and label it with the bass fishing category, the search will know right away what the article is about. 

This helps your site increase authority in specific subjects which can increase rankings and traffic. 

But, why doesn’t this work for tags? The answer is unclear.

Perhaps at one time tags were considered a ranking factor but most experts don’t believe they are anymore. 

The real purpose for tags is to organize your content in the backend of your website. This helps the site become easier to navigate for you and anyone else who needs to find content on your WordPress site. 

If you have a bunch of writers, content managers, SEOs, publishers, and so on; you can use tags to organize the content so everyone can find what they need. 

The Right Way to Use WordPress Tags

While tags aren’t a huge deal for your SEO, there are still some best practices you’ll want to consider. Here are some of the things you can do right to make tags work for you:

  1. Be Specific: Use tags that accurately describe the content of your post. Choose keywords or phrases that are directly related to the post’s topic and provide additional context.
  2. Don’t Go Crazy: Avoid using an excessive number of tags for each post. Aim for a handful of relevant tags that cover the main topics discussed in the post. Using too many tags can dilute their effectiveness and make your tag archive pages less focused.
  3. Create a Hierarchy: This applies to both tags and categories. You want parent and child tags for all posts to create the best structure possible. 

The Wrong Way to Use WordPress Tags

Now let’s take a look at some of the things you can do wrong with tags:

  1. Be Generic: Avoid using tags that are unrelated to your content or too generic. Tags should accurately represent the main topics or keywords covered in the post. Using irrelevant or generic tags can confuse visitors and dilute the value of your tags for SEO.
  2. Duplicate Tags: Using the same or similar tags across multiple posts without variation can create duplicate content issues.
  3. Inconsistent Tagging: Inconsistency in tag naming can create confusion and disorganization. Use a consistent naming convention for your tags to make them more intuitive and user-friendly.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about WordPress tags for SEO: 

How do I choose SEO tags?

You want to choose SEO tags based on the structure of your website. You can do it very similar to categories like the fishing example above but keep in mind that the main purpose is to organize the content for you and your team. 

Can using tags be bad for SEO?

Yes, if you’re using the wrong tags, too general of tags, or too many tags, it can actually have a negative impact on your SEO. 

How many tags should you have on a page?

I wouldn’t use more than 2-3 tags per post and make sure they’re laser-focused, relevant, and exclusive to that post. 

Final Thoughts 

Are WordPress tags good for SEO? 

Not really. 

It’s okay to use them and you can use them to organize your content but they won’t make much of an impact on your SEO. 

That said, using them incorrectly can have a negative impact so you’ll either want to use them right or not at all. 

If you’re trying to better organize your content, internal linking can help. Having a proper internal linking strategy with Link Whisper can help you internal link between all related posts automatically in less time than ever. Click here to learn more! 

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