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Using Tags on Your Blog Posts: What are Tags and Why are They Important for Blogs?

The right way to use tags on your blogs
The right way to use tags on your blogs

Ever wondered what tags and categories really do for your blog post? Each time you see those two sections sitting innocently idle by the corner or top of your posts, it's pretty easy to overlook them as though they don’t matter at all. After all, they are not important for SEO - at least not like meta descriptions and meta tags are.

What if you discovered that tags and categories are actually very important for your blogs, including search engines and users? Yes, that’s right. They truly are. Blog categories, for instance, are like labels for groups or categories of posts that are related or under the same broad topics. Using blog categories appropriately can help you organize your blog and optimize it for search engine crawlers. On the other hand, it also helps users navigate your sites with ease.

What are Blog Tags?

Blog tags, which is the focus of this post, work in a similar fashion as categories, but they function more like keywords, rather than just labels that describe your posts. One post can belong to several categories or have multiple tags if the topics overlap. But just as keyword stuffing isn’t right for your site, stuffing too many tags on your posts isn’t going to do you any favors.

Another thing to keep in mind about using tags is that using them wrongly can negatively impact the experience of users browsing through your content. The consequent impact of that on your site’s SEO can be detrimental. For instance, if you use the tag “Recipes” for a particular post, clicking on it will return all blog posts with the “Recipe” tag. So, imagine you had used the tag randomly on unrelated posts. It can be confusing to both users and search engine crawlers.

Using blog tags appropriately
Using blog tags appropriately

Ideally, the tags you use should be related to the main topic of the post. In the above post, you’ll notice that the topic “10 Best HR Practices for Small Companies in 2022” had the tags “Best HR Practices'', “Best HR Solutions”, “Best Employee Benefits”, etc. This is one of the most effective ways to use blog tags.

Are Blog Tags Important for SEO?

Tags especially, may not directly impact your SEO metrics, but using them well can improve the experience of users, and, as I mentioned earlier, can equally help search engines crawl and index your pages.

When you add a tag to a post, that post is added to that tag’s archive. This means that if you add like 15 tags to a post, 15 different archives are automatically created for that post. An archive page, in this case, means a category of posts with the same tags. Let's say, for instance, that each of those archive pages for your post only has 1 or 2 posts on them; you can imagine that that isn’t really useful.

Chances are, there are other related posts, and too many tags make it difficult for users to find other related posts. Secondly, Google and other search engines will likely have a hard time understanding what your website is about. From this, we understand that when you add a new tag that you haven’t used before, you’re actually creating a new archive page. In other words, you want to be sure that there are no related posts before using that new tag. This way, you keep your site’s content organized for users and indirectly optimized for search engines.

Clicking on each tag returns an archive page of related blog posts bearing the same tag.
Clicking on each tag returns an archive page of related blog posts bearing the same tag.

So, yes, blog tags are not critically important for SEO, but how you use them can impact other important elements of your site, either positively or negatively.

Tags Can Show You Which Blog Topics Your Readers Like Most

If you’re looking to refocus your efforts on the topics that get you the most engagements, one way to find out for sure is by tracking your blog categories and tags. You can set up metrics for these in Google Analytics, but first, you need to make some adjustments to make that happen. One of the options you can try is to create custom dimensions for your tags and categories in your Google Analytics dashboard. However, you also need to modify your tracking code.

If modifying your tracking codes is not an option you’d like to explore, you can get a plugin that allows you to create custom dimensions for blog tags and categories. Once set, you can always view which tag is getting the most traction, and you can channel your energy and blogging resources in the right direction.

In summary:

  • Using tags for your blogs can help improve SEO, though not directly

  • Tags help group your blog posts together, making it easy to find related content

  • Tags can help you keep your site organized for users and easy for search engines to crawl

  • You should shoes your tags carefully and avoid using too many at a time

  • Do not stuff your blog post with unrelated tags, as this may affect user experience and SEO

Wrapping Up

Although tags look really irrelevant, they are very important for your site. Using tags for your blog posts can help you keep your website organized and appealing to visitors, as well as help you track engagements on your blog posts. And when used correctly, tags can also benefit your SEO.


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