What is a tag in WordPress?

Jerry Tyler
What is a tag in WordPress

A WordPress tag is one of the standard methods for categorizing the WordPress entries. Each post can have several tags, and visitors can click on a tag to find other posts with the same tag.

Tags, unlike WordPress categories, are entirely optional. That is, you are free to use WordPress tags in your article, but you are also free to publish a post without tags. You have a preference!

If a user does not pick a category for a post in WordPress, it is automatically filed into the default category. Tags, on the other hand, are not automatically added to a post unless a user adds them, making them entirely optional, although there is no limit on how many you can add.

For instance, a post filed in the Product Review category could optionally include tags such as Used, Lightweight, and Oversized.

Whenever a visitor clicks on a tag, they are led to the archive tab, which includes a listing of all the posts that use that tag. Tags can also be shown in one of the sidebars by using a widget.

Taxonomies make it simple to categorize material. This assists website administrators and content publishers in arranging their content. This often aids travelers in locating subjects of interest to them.

What Is the Difference Between WordPress Tags and Categories?

Tags and categories are all taxonomies on a technical basis. A taxonomy is simply a fancy term for a system of grouping items together (like your WordPress posts).

Aside from the fact that any WordPress post requires a category, while tags are optional, below is the key distinction between tags and categories:

Categories are hierarchical, while tags are not. This essentially means that you can have a parent category and child subcategories. However, there are no parent/child relationships with tags; each tag is a fully separate entity.

While categories can be broad topics that relate to a variety of posts, tags are typically more descriptive and specific to the content of the article.

Tags in WordPress: How to Add Them?

WordPress provides two simple methods for adding tags to your site.

To begin, while you’re writing a new blog post or editing an existing one, you can always easily add new tags to the Tags box on the right side of your screen.

You can add multiple tags or delete them. You will see different layout if you are using classic editor which was default in previous versions of WordPress.

Post Tags section
Add tags inside posts — WPTechOnline

Second, you can add tags directly by heading to Posts Tags. You can use this interface to add new tags as well as manage the tags that are already on your site:

You can add tags directly by heading to Posts Tags
Add, edit, manage tags — WPTechOnline

This second interface is useful because, in addition to adding a new tag, you can set or edit the URL slug for each tag.

How to Make Tags Visible on Your WordPress Website?

Many WordPress themes will display the tags that have been allocated to a post as part of the post’s metadata. These tags are usually shown at the beginning or end of the message.

However, if needed, you can use a WordPress widget to conveniently show all of the tags that you’ve used on your site as part of a tag cloud.

A tag cloud is essentially a long list of the tags used on your website, with more commonly used tags denoted by larger text (though the exact styling depends on your specific theme). An example of a tag cloud is shown below:

Tags cloud widget
Tags Cloud Widget — WPTechOnline

To add a tag cloud like this to your WordPress site:

  • Navigate to Appearance Widgets.
  • Drag the Tag Cloud widget from the Available Widgets field to where you want it to appear.
  • Give it a title if you like, and decide whether or not to display the actual number count.

SEO Best Practices for WordPress Tags

Though WordPress tags are often useful from a usability standpoint, there are several SEO best practices to follow to ensure that the use of tags does not negatively impact your site’s search engine optimization (SEO).

By default, each tag you use generates a separate archive page that lists all of the posts that contain that tag.

This is good for humans because it makes it easier to locate similar material – but it creates a lot of low-quality duplicate content pages for search engine robots (because all of your posts are now listed on your main blog archive page, as well as each post’s individual URL).

Instead of wasting Google’s time with these tag archive sites, use the noindex directive to tell Google not to index your tag archives in the first place.

Some Beneficial Uses for WordPress Tags

If you want to boost your website’s ranking on major search engines and drive quality web traffic, you can use keyword-rich categories and tags on your WordPress pages.

In-depth keyword research and competitive analysis will assist you in choosing a selection of the most appropriate keyword phrases for your site that you can use in your tags and categories to enable search engines and web audience to find you instantly.

It is preferable to establish the site’s organizational framework before posting content on it. It removes the need for page redirects while changing current categories, sub-categories, and tags.

Tags and categories can be used to improve the popularity of your blog posts based on your keyword study. However, bear in mind that using more than 5-10 categories on your website would complicate it.

Using too many tags can have an impact on your site’s usability and accessibility. It is unclear how many tags are appropriate to use in a single blog post, but you should be mindful that each tag you create will generate a separate archive page on your site.

Don’t forget to arrange your categories if you want all of your relevant posts to be in one place. Since WordPress requires that each post be assigned to at least one group, make sure you do so before publishing your material.

This will assist both search engines and web readers in finding blog posts in particular categories.

Thoughts for the Future

The use of categories and tags is strongly influenced by the keywords and content you use. If you want to rank higher on SERPs, make proper use of your WordPress site’s categories and tags, as well as well-written SEO-friendly content.

Simply remember the aforementioned tips, build valid categories and tags, and capitalize on their SEO benefits for your WordPress site.

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