Whenever you create a new page or post on your WordPress site, you have the opportunity to include specific tags using the tag feature located in the right-hand column. The question is, are you doing so? Research suggests that many WordPress site owners are ignoring the tags, or at least not giving them the attention they deserve. This is a mistake for any site owner interested in search engine optimization (SEO).
Tagging your posts and pages serves two very useful purposes. One is minor; the other is major. At any rate, do not believe that WordPress is SEO friendly out-of-the-box. Its SEO friendliness is entirely dependent on site owners utilizing the tools available to them. With that said, let us talk about those two purposes for tagging.
Search Engine Ranking
Search engines utilize much information when deciding how to rank pages for given keywords and phrases. A tag in your WordPress posts does not account for much, but every little bit helps. Tagging each of your pages and posts gives the search engine spiders additional information that helps to determine the specific content of that page or post.
Combining tags with titles, meta tags, and body text gives the search engine spiders more context for page ranking. Why would a site owner ignore something such as tagging when it requires so little effort but can yield positive results? Yet tagging does not seem to be a priority for WordPress users.
Broader Website Understanding
The second purpose of utilizing tags in your WordPress pages and posts is a big deal. Tagging tells the search engines what your website is about. More importantly, it helps the search engines to build a broad history for the purposes of understanding what keywords and phrases are important to you. This is accomplished on an even grander scale when the website owner combines tagging with carefully chosen categories.
As an example, let us assume your website deals primarily with soccer. Let us also assume you are archiving past posts on your site. By matching tags to categories, you are creating an archive that links current content to past content to the archive directory. Assuming one of your favourite tags might be ‘Champions League’, using it frequently in appropriate posts generates associations between multiple pages on your site that tell search engines the Champions League is important to you.
The caveat to all of this is to not overdo it. While it is technically not possible to generate too many tags across the entire scope of a WordPress site, using too many tags on a single page or post is not a wise idea. It only leads to search engine confusion. Stick to three or four at maximum.
It is also a good idea to match certain tags with respective categories. In other words, tag your pages and posts so that tag ‘XYZ’ appears mainly on posts in category ‘ABC’. Matching the two consistently generates a bigger and better picture for search engine spiders. The better the spiders understand your site, the better results you will see from an SEO perspective.
Yes, tags are important to your WordPress pages and posts. Learn how to use them, and use them often. Your site will definitely benefit as a result.