WordPress tags and categories are always seen when editing a post. These tools are used to group your content into similar topics based on the details of each post. Although their functions are deemed similar, WordPress tags and categories are different from each other. Categories are used for general labels, while tags are more specific.
One of the differences of categories and tags is that tags are optional while categories aren’t. You can publish content without tags, but not without a certain category.
When a user clicks on a particular tag, they will be redirected to the archive page where they will be shown all the content and posts that have the same tags. WordPress tags play a major role in organizing your content, and it also has a big impact on your SEO.
If you are new to WordPress and you plan to create content for your website, here is a broader view of WordPress tags and categories, and how you can use them to improve your SEO.
WordPress Tags vs. Categories
As discussed earlier, categories and tags have the same function in grouping your content with similar details together. However, there are some differences in how they are used in your posts.
1. Categories are broad while tags are specific
The easiest way to differentiate the two is the size of the topic they are about. Categories cover broad topics that usually have subtopics of their own and can be applied to different posts, while tags are usually used for very specific and unique topics.
Category – sports, basketball
Tags – Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
2. Categories are necessary while tags are optional
When posting content in WordPress, you won’t be able to submit it without indicating a certain category, but you can post it even without the tags. If you somehow forget to assign a category to your post, WordPress will set its category to Uncategorized, which is the default category for all posts.
3. Hierarchical relationship
The last and most important difference between categories and tags is the hierarchical relationship. Hierarchical means that you can put a subcategory to each topic. Categories are hierarchical because they are broad and can include subcategories for each topic, while WordPress tags are standalone and cannot be subcategorized.
Although categories and tags have the same purpose, they have totally different uses. Ultimately, you can use both in your post because any content can have one or two categories, and several tags.
Are WordPress Tags Important for SEO?
WordPress tags play a major role in your SEO and when you do it the right way, it will help you rank higher. But you have to be mindful because it can also be harmful to your SEO. Since WordPress is a very advanced system, it comes with its own SEO feature to help your website deal with keywords and search engines.
Based on the WordPress tags, the system categorizes its features and guides all the search engines to different posts, categories, and tags. This information is used to index your content to a database. While this really helps with the SEO ranking of your website and post, one faulty tag can change the indexing process for your website.
When you create a similar name for your category and tag, search engines will get confused as to which of the categories and tags it should rank first. Duplication issues may be simple, but after a while, this can become a serious problem.
Search engines tend to sort through different posts and pages rather than tag pages because WordPress tags don’t have unique content of their own. Make sure that you use your tags to your advantage and help you rank higher in SEO.
To have better results, you can use the noindex directive to prevent Google and other search engines from indexing your tag archives.
How to Use Noindex WordPress Tag Archive?
In order to overcome SEO problems with your tag archives, you need to use the noindex WordPress tag. In doing so, you will basically tell Google to ignore any of your tag pages when they are sorting out all the data. Here is how you can do this:
- Go to Search Appearance
- Click Taxonomies
- Click the Tags section, select Show Tags in Search, then click No
- Save the changes
Optimizing your WordPress content is very important to help your website rank higher in SEO. WordPress tags are crucial because they can make or break your rank in every search engine. Be sure to use them correctly to gain more traffic to your website and boost your sales and media presence. Optimizing and designing your own content in WordPress is important.
If you want to build the best WordPress site, Advanced Digital Media Services can develop professional SEO strategies that can help improve your ranking. Build a strong WordPress website with Advanced Digital Media Services, the best marketing agency you will find.